Nigel Pearson has admitted that Bristol City have yet to open talks about signing Matty James to a new contract.
The 32-year-old is into his third season at Ashton Gate from the deal he signed in 2021, having reunited with Pearson following their time together at Leicester City.
James has emerged as one of the Robins’ leading players this term, but his current deal expires at the end of the current campaign. He has donned the captains armband on several occasions and is considered an influential figure in the dressing room.
The former Manchester United midfielder along with the likes of his ex-Foxes teammate Andy King, Andi Weimann, and, Joe Williams are also out of contract, but none of them have been tied down.
“It’s not something that has been discussed at the moment,” he said.
“I am aware of a number of players who are in that sort of category. We will discuss them, and we won’t let those types of issues become something that then becomes a fly in the ointment for us.
“Behind-the-scenes we will discuss all of that and it will be dealt with at the right time. There’s always an interest point where you want to keep players playing for their futures but you don’t want them to become disconnected because they don’t feel as that is going to happen.”
James has been a focal point of Bristol City’s positive start to the season, which currently has them seventh in the Championship table after seven matches this season. He delivered the match-winning moment against Millwall, and was on the score sheet in the 4-1 win over Plymouth Argyle in midweek.
His age does come in to consideration when entering contract talks however, and earlier this summer his manager did allude to the fact that the midfield area was one of the oldest in the squad. Jason Knight and Taylor Gardner-Hickman came into the club, but James has responded positively and has played a key role in bringing the best out of them.
He has seen his teammate Zak Vyner earn a new three-year deal amid interest from Luton Town and Southampton, and will be hopeful that his form can earn him a deal that he deems best for him.
“I understand all that and that is all a part of how we manage their future,” admitted Pearson.
“If you look at the midfield department for instance we’ve been well aware we’ve got in some ways an ageing part of the pitch which is important when you try to replace them and add to them whilst they are still here.
“It doesn’t mean just because we’ve added Knighty and if we get Taylor too which I think would be a great signing for us, you’re almost signing the next generation whilst the current generation are still going through their halcyon days or renaissance period because they’re getting better still.”