Out-of-contract players Birmingham City could keep after relegation to League One

Relegation to League One promises to make this summer even busier for Birmingham City. A rebuild will be required once the post-season inquest has been concluded.

In addition to lots of players under contract whose futures are uncertain, Blues have eight senior players at the end of their deals. They will learn in the coming days and weeks whether they are part of the plans moving forward.

First team regulars John Ruddy, Marc Roberts, Ivan Sunjic and club captain Lukas Jutkiewicz are among those whose deals expire in July. Experienced players Neil Etheridge, Gary Gardner, Keshi Anderson and Scott Hogan also see their contracts conclude shortly.

Many of those out of contract are on costly pre-pandemic deals that were handed out by former CEO Xuandong Ren before Blues cut their cloth. Check out when Blues’ contracts expire below…

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Neil Etheridge, John Ruddy, Marc Roberts (with option), Marcel Oakley, Ivan Sunjic, Gary Gardner, Keshi Anderson (with option), Scott Hogan, Lukas Jutkiewicz.

Six of those out of contract this summer are on the wrong side of 30. While several have options to extend, such as Keshi Anderson who joined the club on a free transfer in July, Blues are expected to release a number of the aforementioned players.

Ivan Sunjic, 27, has been among Blues’ most used players this season but he would likely have to accept a significant reduction to stick around beyond the summer. Experienced goalkeeper Ruddy has been dealing in short-term contracts since he turned 30 and recently revealed that no discussions have taken place.

Asked whether Blues have been in touch over a new contract, Ruddy told BirminghamLive: “Not really, no. I think there’s a number of players in the same situation with contracts and loan players. But for as long as we’re at this club we have to give 100 percent for this badge."

Blues' longest serving player Jutkiewicz is another nearing the end of his existing deal. In December, he said: “You have to earn things in this game and making sure, whether you’re the oldest player or the youngest player, you keep earning the trust of the manager and from a wider perspective getting the trust of the football club to earn a new contract."


Jordan James (with option), Koji Miyoshi (with option), Juninho Bacuna.

Crucially, Blues have the option to extend Jordan James' contract by a further year. James attracted serious interest during the January transfer window and Blues are expecting fresh bids in the summer. BirminghamLive understands Koji Miyoshi's contract also includes an extension option.


Manny Longelo, Ethan Laird, Josh Williams, Krystian Bielik, Siriki Dembele, George Hall, Alfie Chang, Alex Pritchard, Paik Seung-ho.


Dion Sanderson, Tyler Roberts.


Lee Buchanan.

Who should Blues keep this summer?

While the bulk of the squad failed to perform this year, there are some reliable players among those out of contract. It feels unlikely that Sunjic will stick around and, due to their limited game time, Neil Etheridge and Scott Hogan already have a foot out the door.

Based on what John Ruddy - who kept 11 clean sheets last term - said in March, it is difficult to envisage him being around in League One. Having said that, the fact he was named captain in the final three matches shows how highly he is thought of by those within the club. Ruddy is a leader in every sense of the word and could be an asset in League One.

Marc Roberts, Gary Gardner and Lukas Jutkiewicz could be assets in League One but injuries have caught up with them this season. Roberts has been troubled by calf issues, Gardner has had limited minutes and Jutkiewicz's body has been put through the mill.

"There are some incredible guys in there," Gary Rowett said after his final game as interim manager against Norwich City. "People who have really put their hearts on their sleeves. The likes of John Ruddy, the likes of Jukey, Gary Gardner has played hardly a minute but he said to me yesterday, 'I'm not fit but if you want me I'll do everything I can to get out there'. You need to balance that attitude with quality and talent but they are a really good example of that."

Then there's Keshi Anderson whose record when starting this season has been impressive. While his goals and assists columns aren't well stocked, Blues only lost three of the 15 games Anderson started. He would unquestionably be an asset under the right manager in League One.

Whose contracts should Blues be looking to extend? Have your say in the comments section below...