- Wednesday, 30 May 2012
- Written by Modou Lamin Beyai
Bristol Rovers have offered Gambian Mustapha Carayol improved terms to extend his stay at the Memorial Stadium in a bid to fend off continuing interest in their star playing asset.
Carayol was last week the subject of a six-figure bid from an unnamed Championship club, which was rejected by Rovers. The club had already turned down a January window transfer bid from Barnsley and are keen to hold on to the winger, who has 12 months left on the initial deal he signed when brought to the club by former manager Paul Buckle last summer.
Rovers chairman Nick Higgs has confirmed that a new and improved deal was on the table for Carayol – but is still bracing himself for a battle to keep hold of the player in the coming weeks.
“We have been negotiating with Mustapha for a number of weeks and have now made him an offer to try to persuade him to extend his stay at the club,” said Higgs. “We’ve already had one formal offer from a Championship club, which we have rejected, but I know there are a number of other clubs also interested in him.”
“There will be a lot of interest in him over the next few weeks, but we are keen to keep our best players at the club and Muzzy is certainly one of those. His form over a consistent period throughout the last half of the season was one of the highlights of the campaign, but sometimes that can be a double-edged sword.”
“You want your players to show that sort of level of consistency, but it doesn’t go unnoticed elsewhere. We’re not under undue pressure to sell because Mustapha still has 12 months on his contract. All I can say right now is that we’re doing our best to keep him.”
Mustapha Carayol’s departure would serve as a blow to manager Mark McGhee’s ambitions to secure promotion next season – although the process of shaping what is expected to be a 20-man squad is already well under way.