Clark primed for summer overhaul
[.[views].], BY ClubCall
Birmingham boss Lee Clark has already identified which of his 19 out-of-contract players he would like to remain at the club next season.
There promises to be a summer of change at St Andrew's with the majority of City's squad set to become free agents, although the midlands club do boast options on seven players including the likes of Chris Burke, Wade Elliott, Keith Fahey and Callum Reilly.
Clark has already told the powers that be at Birmingham which of those 19 he would like to keep and, as he waits to hear back from acting chairman Peter Pannu and co, he will discuss the outcome with his players soon after the final game of the season at home to Blackburn on May 4.
"I've made my recommendations to the board a few weeks ago, I know what I want to do with them," Clark said on Friday morning.
"But ultimately those players who I would like to keep can also say no to the contract offer as well, so it's alright me saying I want to keep player X and player Y, but if he's not too happy with the terms being offered then they can still move on. I'm planning for every eventuality.
"I'll be sitting down with the players after the last game. I go to Barcelona on a coaching seminar for four days, so the Tuesday probably before I go away, the 6 or 7 May. I'll be having one-on-one meetings with all the players that day."
Clark added: "The ones I've recommended that we're keeping, obviously if the board accept that, we'd like to get that done and dusted asap. I want to have as many of those lads tied up plus new signings certainly for the second week of pre-season, which will be our tour."
One of those out of contract is captain Stephen Carr, 36, who has missed the entire season with a knee injury. Clark is keen to keep hold of the former Republic of Ireland international, potentially in a coaching role, but it appears the veteran right-back has already come to a decision over his future.
Clark added: "I've tried to approach the subject but in all honesty I think he's made his mind up in terms of where he's going in the future. That's not for me to say, he will do that in due course.
"Without a shadow of doubt if that option was available in whatever position he would like to come into the club, as a young coach or a coach to be with the seniors, I would welcome him with open arms. I've approached that subject with him but I don't think at this moment it's an avenue he's looking at going down. But you never know."