Cambridge United boss Mark Bonner expects a summer of “massive change” at the Abbey Stadium

Manager Mark Bonner expects it to be a busy summer coming and going at Cambridge United – no matter which division the club finds itself in.

While the U’s have a number of squad locked in post-summer deals, key first-team players such as Sam Smith, Harvey Knibbs, Lloyd Jones, Paul Digby and Ryan Bennett are all set to expire at the end of the campaign.

With United currently locked in a battle for Sky Bet League One status, Bonner confirmed that discussions about new terms will now not take place until the summer.

Cambridge United coach Mark Bonner.  Photo: Simon Lancaster
Cambridge United coach Mark Bonner. Photo: Simon Lancaster

And even if they do manage to retain their third-tier status, the manager would expect some of those to move on as free agents, having been unable to agree new contracts earlier in the campaign.

He said: “The situation with contracts is that we certainly won’t be talking to players now. We might have had that call in January to wait until the end of the season to see where we are in contract extensions.

“In the case of some of our players, we signed some players on a long-term basis last year. They are the younger ones, the ones we feel can develop into players and during this season Luis Simper and Djibril Okdina have added time to their contracts. Adam May has signed a longer contract, So there are one or two that we think have a lot of time in their contracts.

“Then there are a group of players who obviously we tried to extend (earlier in the season) and they chose not to, so we’ll wait until the end of the season now what happens with those.

“Depending on what the players decide and what we decide, there is a chance to have a little bit of a reset and realignment with the team (in the summer).

“We’ll just see how the remaining 10 games play out. We’ll know where we are next season at that point and then we’ll have those discussions with everyone out of contract about whether we want them to stay and offer them something, whether they want to accept it or not or whether they want That… I’ve got another thing lined up.

“Contract lengths are something they’re always really flexible and you can only extend them if the other party wants to extend them. At the time we’re in the position we’re in, we’re not going to have any more conversations and we’ll see where we get in the summer.

“It is likely that they will be a big change. Of course, we may extend some players whose contracts have expired or they may choose to stay with us.

“There is definitely an opportunity for massive change and whether that’s the players’ choice or ours, it’s likely to be a combination.”

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