Town budget holds the key to trio's future
Shrewsbury boss Micky Mellon wants to keep-out-of contract trio Jermaine Grandison, Jean-Louis Akpa Akpro and Andy Mangan – but can't guarantee he can.
Mellon is busy shaping his squad in preparation for Town's return to League One and met with his players earlier this week to discuss their futures.
Youngster Jordan Clark has been offered a new deal which the talented 21-year-old is expected to sign in the coming days, while fellow midfielder Aaron Wildig has been told he won't be offered extended terms.
But Mellon revealed the futures of Akpa Akpro, Mangan and Grandison will become more clear once his budget for next season has been confirmed – with the two strikers having already indicated they wish to stay.
Mellon said: "I have spoken to all of the out-of-contract players and they are, quite rightly, assessing their options.
"They have to decide what is best for them and their individual careers.
"I've already met with a number of players and spoken to agents, as I look to build a squad for League One. It's a big step up in quality and we need to improve.
"But the budget isn't going to be much different from last season so it's a bit like trying to cram an elephant into a Mini at the moment – with the Mini being the budget.
"Jean-Louis I would like to keep and he has indicated he wants to stay. That's the same for Mangan. But it's about finances and talks with them are ongoing.
"Jermaine wants to assess his options. With the budget not having been set I don't know exactly what I can offer him yet, but he wants to assess things and he's right to do so because we are looking around as well."
Mellon hopes to have his final budget confirmed by chairman Roland Wycherley today, but believes it's important he moves quickly as he looks to compete with the high profile clubs in League One.
"There isn't that much more money coming into the budget and the challenge for us is that there are many bigger clubs with bigger resources than we have," he said.
"We need to find a way of being competitive on the field by doing things a little differently on the recruitment side of things.
"We believe Shrewsbury is an attractive club to be part of and our aim is to put together a team that the fans will enjoy watching.
"We are out talking to players and I've probably already spoken to half a dozen players and to countless agents.
"We are organised and well on our way too getting the right players we want to compliment the group."
Meanwhile, Mellon is pleased to see Jordan Clark extend his stay with the club while confirming the time is right for Wildig to move on.
Wilding made just substitute appearance during Town's promotion winning campaign and had spells out on loan at Kidderminster and Morecambe.
Mellon said: "Clark is a young player who has come into the side and done well this season.
"He has got a lot of developing still to do but we offered him a new deal two-weeks ago and I expect him to sign that any day now.
"I had a good chat with Aaron Wildig and told him my plans moving forward. He is a great lad and he will now go on and rebuild his career somewhere else.
"He needs to play. He can't just be training at this stage of his career."
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