Steven Fletcher is out of contract in July and has yet to put pen to paper on a new deal – similar to Morgan Fox. The 32-year-old has been in talks with Sheffield Wednesday over extending his contract but no progress has been made in nearly four weeks. Why?
Fletcher joined Wednesday from Sunderland in 2016 and has gone on to make 135 appearances in all competitions, contributing 47 goals. He’s been in fantastic form this season, scoring 13 goals in 26 Championship games, so the Owls are understandably keen to tie him down.
One reason why the Scottish international hasn’t committed his future to Wednesday may be down to his side’s form in 2020 – only Hull City (five) have picked up fewer points in the Championship (nine) since the turn of the year.
The Owls found themselves closer to the relegation zone than fifth place in the table before the season was postponed due to Covid-19, and with Fletcher in the eve of his career, he may be unsure if it’s the right decision to stay at Hillsborough.
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A second reason why may be down to demands. Fletcher is Wednesday’s second-highest earner on £30k-per-week – Jordan Rhodes earns £40k-per-week while the Owls are only paying £12k-per-week of Connor Wickham’s £60k-per-week contract.
Wednesday are trying to trim the wage bill, so do they want Fletcher to agree to reduced terms? Or can’t the two parties agree on the length of his new contract?
As per Transfermarkt, Fletcher has hit double figures for league goals in three of his four seasons at Wednesday and can argue he’s been a good servant for the club. He surely won’t want a 12-month extension that could leave him as a free agent in 2021, but the Owls may not want to offer an ageing player longer terms.
It’s worth noting that Fletcher is one of nine who will be out of contract in the coming months, so Wednesday have been poor at tying down other players too. It’s just worrying such an important member of the squad could leave on a free transfer this summer. Time will tell what comes of the talks.