Grant McCann frustrated as Peterborough United youngster rejects contract on double his wages money

Grant McCann has been left disappointed but insisted that the club must now move on from Charlie O’Connell after the youngster rejected several contract offers.
Charlie O'Connell in action against Plymouth in August. Photo: Joe Dent.Charlie O'Connell in action against Plymouth in August. Photo: Joe Dent.
Charlie O'Connell in action against Plymouth in August. Photo: Joe Dent.

McCann revealed that the 19-year-old defender has rejected several offers of a new contract that would have seen him double his wages.

The former Under-18 captain now looks a certainty to walk out on the club after being advised by his agent not to sign. He is not set to become a free agent in the summer.

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The news has left boss McCann disappointed but he insisted that it means that the club need to move on and put resources into the development of other players.

O’Connell started the EFL Cup tie in August away at Plymouth and also played 90 minutes in both cup ties against Stevenage but looks unlikely to be involved again- with McCann blaming bad advice from O’Conell’s decision to reject Posh’s offers.

He said: “It’s been a disappointing few months for him. We offered him a new four-and-a-half-year deal pretty much straight after the Plymouth game but unfortunately, Charlie is not going to sign.

“He’s obviously been told by his agent that there’s Barcelona, Real Madrid and Bayern Munich after him. That’s really frustrating for us as we see a real pathway for Charlie.

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“When that happens, we have to move our focus to other younger players- the likes of Harry Thomas, Manu Fernandez and Joseph Toynton is coming through the Under 18s. We have to turn our focus to players who want to be here.

“He’s been offered two or three different contracts. I’ve tried with Charlie quite a few times to talk him round because his line is that he doesn’t see a pathway- which I find hard to believe. He’s played in three of the game so far this season, there is a clear pathway for him.

We think so much of him as a boy and a player. Unfortunately, I’ve seen it before at my last club at Hull, you try and give the boys as much advice as you can but unfortunately, they will listen to people that probably don’t give them the advice that they should be getting at this stage of their career.

“It’s frustrating because he’s such a nice kid Charlie and that’s just what happens in football sometimes – agents can get involved and sway them to reject a contract that is actually double the money he is on. I respect his decision and we will focus on others.”

Given the news, Posh will be boosted by the fact Manu Fernandez has returned to fitness and is set to feature in the Under 21s game against Brentford on Friday.