Coventry City refuse to give up on star man as retained list announced

Coventry City manager Mark Robins
Coventry City manager Mark Robins -Credit:Ryan Browne

Coventry City have not given up hope in their attempts to persuade Callum O’Hare to sign a new contract to stay with the club.

The Sky Blues published their retained list today, and it revealed that O'Hare and young goalkeeper Luke Bell have both been offered new deals.

The list also confirmed that veteran skipper Liam Kelly will leave the club this summer after a seven-year stay in which he played 180 games and scored three goals as the Sky Blues rose up from League Two to a Championship play-off final and an FA Cup semi-final.

Not that club confirmation O’Hare has been offered a new deal means he is likely to stay. It is understood that the 26-year-old Aston Villa academy prospect is still likely to move on this summer.

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City boss Mark Robins said of the playmaker after the final-day defeat to QPR: “I have just said in the dressing room, I’m not going to give up on you. But we started laughing and I know that he’s probably going to choose somewhere else to go."

He also said of O'Hare: “Who knows, Callum may turn around at the end of this season, although I doubt it, and say he wants to stay. But we don’t know yet. It’s one of those things where we can hope, but whatever happens we will look to improve where we can.”

In addition to Kelly, goalkeeper Simon Moore, who joined the Sky Blues in 2021 from Sheffield United, has also been released, as have under-21s players Dermi Lusala and Bradley Stretton.

Robins added: “I would like to thank those who are leaving for their time with us, the contributions that they have made to Coventry City, and wish them all of the best for their future careers.

“In particular, Liam Kelly will be rightly lauded as a club legend. He has been an impeccable professional on and off the field, and an integral part of Coventry City’s rise through the divisions in recent years.

“I would also like to thank Simon, Dermi and Bradley, and wish them the best of luck for the future.”

Loan defender Luis Binks is returning to parent club Bologna after making 23 appearances for the Sky Blues in all competitions this past season amid speculation that he might return for good in the summer.

Robins has said previously: “He’s a great lad who has been brilliant in the dressing room. The lads love him and he’s someone who we want to keep in touch with and see how things go. But that will come in the next bit, and depends on a number of factors.”

Coventry City retained list 2023/24

Released: Liam Kelly; Simon Moore; Dermi Lusala; Bradley Stretton.

Returning to parent club: Luis Binks.

Contracts offered: Callum O'Hare, Luke Bell.

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