Port Vale latest on Nathan Smith after contract offer



Port Vale boss John Askey is hoping to hang on to Nathan Smith, but says that could be taken out of his hands if a club from a higher division comes in for the centre back.

Smith is out of contract at the end of June but has been offered a new deal. Now Vale are waiting to see if the 24 year old will commit his future to the club or move on a free transfer.

The manager said: “I have been speaking to Nathan for quite a while now, probably since Christmas.

“We have offered him a good deal to keep him at the club for a longer period but it is a difficult one. We should know in the next two or three weeks what his decision is.

“Nathan appears as though he enjoys being at the club and I think he has enjoyed this season. So, you would be hope that, unless it was a club from a higher division, he will re-sign for us.”

Smith, from Madeley has come through the youth system at Vale Park and made 199 first team appearances since making his first-team debut under Bruno Ribeiro at the start of the 2016/17 season.

He formed a strong central defensive partnership with captain Leon Legge this past season, helping Askey’s side to eighth in the table when the campaign was suspended in mid-March and subsequently abandoned.

Smith is one of seven new players to be offered deals by the Vale, along with David Amoo, Rhys Browne, Shaun Brisley, Mark Cullen, Cristian Montano and Tom Conlon.

Those deals were included in the club’s retained list last Monday and so, under EFL rules, the players have a further three weeks to respond.  But striker Cullen is already understood to be close to signing.

Meanwhile, midfielder Luke Joyce is set to formally sign his new deal after qualifying for a contract offer through appearances.

The 32 year old was a key part of the side this past season, starting 36 of the clubs 37 league games.

Askey has wished all the best to the six players who have been released by the club – Will Atkinson, Callum Evans, Kieran Kennedy, Ryan Lloyd, Johnny Maddison and Jordan Macfarlane-Archer.

The manager said: “It is always the worst part because you never want anybody to lose their job.

“The lads that we have let go are all decent lads. They trained really hard week in, week out and have been a big part of why we have done well because of their attitude. They have never moaned and they have kept themselves really fit.

“I am pleased with the way they have conducted themselves.

“They didn’t play the amount of games they would have wanted but training is a big part to get you prepared for a Saturday and they played their part. I wish them well and hope they get fixed up and things work out for them at another club.” 





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