Shrewsbury Town want new deal for Josh Laurent amid interest
Shrewsbury Town have opened negotiations with midfielder Josh Laurent to avoid losing the midfielder for free this summer.
Laurent, 24, is seen as a player boss Sam Ricketts wishes to build his Town squad around, but the former Wigan man is understood to have Championship admirers.
It is believed that Town have offered Laurent fresh terms to extend his Montgomery Waters Meadow stay into a third season and beyond.
But reports have linked Stoke, Cardiff and Reading to the midfielder, Town's joint-top scorer with four goals this term, while it is understood Hull are also keen on Laurent, whose contract runs out this summer.
Asked if negotiations with Laurent had started, Ricketts said: "It's something which is ongoing which the club have took a view, a while ago, that Josh is of a (good) age and is on a free in the summer.
"We're trying to prevent that as best we can. He's something we want to keep here and build with."
Ricketts added: "There's been no interest, no-one's approached the club, but I'm not surprised if there is (interest).
"Is it just paper talk, media talk to try to drum up interest maybe? As much as anything.
"He's a young lad just starting to understand his game and I think it's really important he continues playing regularly like he is with us.
"No-one's approached the club so nothing else to report."
Laurent's four goals this season matched his haul from last term in under half the amount of games.
He has been a regular in Ricketts' side, mostly in central midfield while also an option on either flank thanks to his versatility.
Laurent is well thought of and, at a good age, seen as a player who has the potential to improve.
Ricketts has already praised the midfielder's steps forward this season, including his belief and confidence to begin chipping in with goals and assists for Town.