Wellington Phoenix midfielder Matti Steinmann still hasn’t resolved his contract issues.
The former Hamburg Academy graduate has been a key man for head coach Ufuk Talay this season, but his one-year contract is set to expire.
Talks had been opened before the COVID-19 lockdown, said the 25-year-old, but would now have to wait until after the season ends.
He said: “We had a chat about that (a new contract) before lockdown and now as well, but now is not the right time to be chatting about that. We’re fully focusing on the next game, the finals and then well talk about that later.”
After Talay had made sure several key performers would be spending more than one season in New Zealand, the admission of Steinmann from that renewals list seems odd.
He’s clearly an important part of the Nix machine and has sat at the base of midfield, pulling the strings. Wellington are blessed to have several excellent options for that role, and the likes of Brandon Wilson and Alex Rufer have been kept out of the side by someone who might not be sticking around for too long.
Wellington have recruited well over the past few campaigns and need to keep their core squad together. Steven Taylor has been excellent, Stefan Marinovic an outstanding free from Bristol City, Ulises Davila is on 12 goals for the season while Gary Hooper has been fantastic since his arrival from Sheffield Wednesday.
Hooper has been struggling for fitness and to see him depart after just 12 months would be a massive loss to the side. A Nix with Hooper fresh and fit and ready to go would revolutionise their A-League chances.
The best way to go into 2021 would be confirming Steinmann is going to lengthen his stay in New Zealand.