Wolves defender Richard Stearman is set to be offered a new deal, boss Kenny Jackett confirmed for the first time today.
The head coach has now followed a positive hint that Dave Edwards would be offered fresh terms by declaring Stearman – the other high profile player out of contract – will too.
Jackett said any contract talks to senior players are on hold until Wolves know which division they will be in.
But after an excellent season, where the 26-year-old has formed part of the second tightest defence in all four divisions behind Chelsea, Jackett now says the former Leicester stopper will be offered a new deal.
“Rest assured we rate Richard Stearman and we see him as having a future at the club,” said the boss, who was at Bramall Lane last night to see Wolves move to within four points from promotion after Sheffield United beat Rotherham 1-0.
“We’re very pleased with him and I’m sure talks will go well.
“It’s not something we’re going to talk about right now in terms of contracts, but I don’t select someone that many times and work as hard as we have defensively to get such a good goals-against record to then release him – that’s not going to be the case.
“We like Richard and I’ve picked him pretty much all season.
“He’s enjoyed a really good partnership with Danny Batth and I see him as having a good future here.”
Apart from his first season at Molineux – when Wolves won the Championship title in 2008-09 – and under Terry Connor in the Premier League relegation campaign, Stearman has found it difficult to get regular games in his favourite position of centre-back. But Jackett has played him there all season apart from Bradford away and believes his best role is in the heart of the defence, even though he had a successful spell on loan at Ipswich at right-back last term.
“I’ve found him to be (a better centre-back) so far,” said the boss. I’d prefer him at centre-back - that’s where he looks most comfortable.”