Bristol Rovers contracts state of play with futures set to be confirmed by retained list release

John Marquis is understood to be one of the Bristol Rovers players set to depart at the end of their contracts -Credit:Tom Sandberg/EFL
John Marquis is understood to be one of the Bristol Rovers players set to depart at the end of their contracts -Credit:Tom Sandberg/EFL

Bristol Rovers supporters will have a clearer idea of who will still be pulling on their club's kit next season out of the current squad when the Gas publish their retained list which is understood to be released on Tuesday afternoon.

Rovers currently have six loanees and eight first-team players out of contract with a total of 12 having deals that expire this summer. All six loanees will head back to their respective parent clubs but it is understood that the Gas will at least explore the possibility of bringing at least one or two back to the club in some capacity over the course of the summer.

However, regarding those permanently contracted, it's a mixed bag regarding who looks likely to leave, who's likely to be handed a contract and whose future will only be confirmed when that retailed list is released.

Bristol Live understands that both Chris Martin and Scott Sinclair have been offered new contracts with the former having a club option to extend by one year inserted into the deal he signed in January to keep him at the club for the remainder of the campaign at least. Matt Taylor has hinted in press conferences when speaking about both players that he would like them to remain at the club with Sinclair's situation particularly interesting.

The veteran winger hardly had any sort of a look in over the course of Taylor's first two months in charge of Rovers, as well as during the back-end of Joey Barton's time in the hot seat and Andy Mangan's caretaker role, and made a first league appearance in four months when coming on against Burton Albion in February.

Since then though, the 35-year-old has started all but two of the subsequent 15 matches, often lasting the whole 90 minutes. During that time, Sinclair has scored twice and has provided an alternative dimension to Taylor's side's attacking capabilities with the winger still boasting a decent amount of pace which has been a rarity in the final third for Rovers all season.

Naturally though with someone as experienced as Sinclair, who has the likes of Chelsea, Manchester City, Aston Villa and Celtic on his CV, having the person in the building is just as important as the player on the pitch and the forward has certainly become a favourite of Taylor's over the past two months.

As for Martin, it's no secret that an excellent campaign ended on a sour note as the striker was handed a four-match ban for headbutting Cambridge United's Mamadou Jobe having already been handed a red card earlier this season against Fleetwood Town. The striker will serve another two games of the suspension at the start of next season but it is looking increasingly likely that that will still be in blue-and-white quarters.

Considering the fact that the 35-year-old joined the club as a free agent having had no pre-season, a return of 16 goals has been an outstanding contribution to the cause and without those strikes you really fear where Rovers could have ended up. Similarly to Sinclair as well, the Gas' younger players get the privilege of having an experienced teammate to learn from.

It is understood that striker John Marquis and utility player Josh Grant will be among those leaving the club, as well as captain Sam Finley who confirmed his departure on social media earlier this month.

Marquis hasn't made an appearance for the Gas since coming off the bench in the 2-0 defeat to Bolton Wanderers earlier this month and scored his last goal in the 3-1 defeat at Blackpool just before Christmas. With the form Martin has found himself in, the 31-year-old has struggled to get much of a look in over the course of the second half of the season with Taylor evidently not keen on the idea of playing the pair together up front, particularly with limited options in that department.

According to Taylor, the reasoning for Marquis' absence of late has been a hamstring tightness issue but it is understood that it's been known that he's not in the manager's future plans for a number of weeks now.

As for Grant, it's a similar situation in the sense that the versatile defender has also been absent due to injury having last played in the 1-0 win at Leyton Orient last month as a substitute. The 25-year-old was then on the bench against Derby County and Fleetwood Town and hasn't made a squad since. Taylor reported after the 2-0 defeat at Port Vale that Grant had picked up a season-ending injury but game time had already started to peter out for the former Chelsea youth player.

It also appears as though Finley will be departing after a post on social media captioned: "It's been a pleasure" after the final home game of the season. The Rovers club captain has also missed the final chunk of the campaign, last featuring in the goalless draw against Shrewsbury Town which Taylor has stated has been down to further problems with a hip issue.

Elsewhere, Luca Hoole, Lewis Gordon, Jordan Rossiter are the other senior players out of contract while Cambridge United loanee James Gibbons is technically still a Rovers player until his contract expires. Academy talents Harvey Greenslade, Ryan Jones and Jerry Lawrence, who have previously trained with the first-team, will also see their current deals run out.

Regarding the aforementioned senior trio, it's still unclear who stays and who goes but it certainly seems likely that Gibbons will be departing after what has sounded like a decent half season on loan at the Abbey Stadium.

Hoole and Rossiter both started at Wigan Athletic on Saturday and the latter has particularly impressed upon his return from a 16-month absence while Gordon was missing from the squad, although it is believed that was due to unavailability as opposed to being left out. Taylor has repeatedly made the point that too much change is unsustainable and all three players certainly have an argument for quality they can provide next season should they be handed deals.

As for the youngsters, Greenslade has been training with the Gas while on loan at Oxford City in the National League where the 20-year-old striker impressed with three goals in 16 league appearances for the fifth tier's bottom side.

Contrastingly though, it's been a difficult season for Jones who also headed out to the National League on loan at the start of the season, joining Bromley, but managed just five appearances for a side that are now 90 minutes away from reaching the Football League for the first time in their history having made the play-off final. Frustratingly, Bromley opted to extend what had initially been a three-month loan to the end of the season but soon after made the decision that Jones wasn't in their plans.

Since, the midfielder has been training with the Gas but Taylor hasn't been able to select him if desired because he is still technically out on loan. Jerry Lawrence has also been regularly training with the first-team and made the bench for Saturday's trip to Wigan.

All three players have at least one first-team appearance to their names but all were made prior to this campaign and so Taylor will have to make his decisions based on what he's seen first hand in training as well as footage from matches.

Bristol Rovers players out of contract this summer in full:

  • Lewis Gordon

  • Luca Hoole

  • Jordan Rossiter

  • Josh Grant (option to extend by further year)

  • Sam Finley

  • Scott Sinclair

  • John Marquis

  • Chris Martin (club option to extend by further year)

  • Harvey Greenslade (currently on loan at Oxford City)

  • Ryan Jones

  • Jerry Lawrence

  • James Gibbons (currently on loan at Cambridge United)

  • Matt Cox (loan from Brentford)

  • Tristan Crama (loan from Brentford)

  • Harvey Vale (loan from Chelsea)

  • Elkan Baggott (loan from Ipswich Town)

  • Brandon Aguilera (loan from Nottingham Forest)

  • Harry Vaughan (loan from Hull City)