As the January transfer window approaches, Peterborough United will need to make decisions on the future of three players who are out of contract in the summer.
Darragh MacAnthony, Posh’s Chairman, has always had a clear policy when it comes to players in the last year of their contract. If they have not re-signed before the 12-month countdown begins, then they are automatically publicised as being on the transfer list in a bid to cash in on their stars.
After their play-off heartbreak at the end of last season, the Cambridgeshire club announced that nine players were placed on the transfer list. Six of those players have already moved on, including goalkeeper Christy Pym and midfielder Oliver Norburn.
However, three players remain at the Weston Homes Stadium and are thus approaching the final six months of their deals.
Following the conclusion of the season and the subsequent appointment of Darren Ferguson as manager, we are now in a position to confirm that a number of players have been made available for transfer. #pufc
— Peterborough United (@theposh) May 26, 2023
Jonson Clarke-Harris was the headline star on that list. The Jamaican was at the heart of a transfer deal that fell through in the 11th hour on deadline day of the summer window. The 29-year-old’s return to Bristol Rovers for a reported £800,000 did not materialise, meaning Darren Ferguson now only has one opportunity to sell the striker before the club risks letting him go on a free.
The former League One top goalscorer may not have lived up to that reputation so far this season. However, he has still performed for his team when asked, making 16 appearances and netting on four occasions.
Similarly, centre-half Josh Knight has stepped up this season, even though he was also announced as available for transfer in May of this year. The Englishman has made over 100 appearances in total for Posh, yet as he now enters the final six months of his contract, the club may be looking to move him on.
On the other hand, they may see him as an integral part of their promotion push this season. If this were to be the case, MacAnthony may decide that having the 26-year-old until the end of this term is more valuable than any cash they could receive for the asset in the winter window.
The final of the three players at Peterborough whose contracts are running to an end in June 2024 is Jeando Fuchs. The former Cameroon international was also placed on the transfer list in the summer, in line with the club’s policy. However, no move was found.
The former Dundee United midfielder was unfortunately ruled out with a thigh injury in August and he is not expected to be back until later this month at the earliest, as head coach Ferguson confirmed in an interview with BBC Radio Cambridgeshire at the time.
Posh will look to boost their promotion chances this weekend as they travel to the North West to face Fleetwood Town.
In recent years, Peterborough have made some smart sales following the model they currently employ. Having three players at risk of leaving on a free in the summer is not ideal, however, each player’s situation must be evaluated differently.
Clarke-Harris was almost set to move before the two clubs missed the deadline. It is therefore highly possible that either the Gas or another club would attempt to steal the striker in January.
Knight is a valuable player both in terms of cash value but also his value to the club. Therefore, Ferguson will need to decide if they would prefer the money to invest elsewhere, or retain the services of a defender who has already proved himself at the Weston Homes Stadium.
Fuchs is the most complicated as due to his injury. It may be harder to move him on for value, however even if the club were to lose him on a free, only one player leaving for nothing illustrates the strength of the business their Irish chairman can do.