Christophe Berra was today handed a ‘sign up or else’ January ultimatum by Wolves manager Stale Solbakken.
The Scotland international is out of contract at the end of the season, when he will be able to walk away on a Bosman free transfer.
Talks have been held with the 27-year-old centre-back with a view to offering him a new deal, but they have broken up without any conclusion as Berra has so far preferred to keep his options open.
Solbakken admits the former Hearts captain holds all the aces as he is free to negotiate with non-English clubs from Tuesday, and can land himself a lucrative signing-on fee elsewhere that he probably couldn’t by staying at Molineux.
But the Norwegian is keen for an answer from the left-footed stopper, who is closing in on 150 appearances for Wolves.
“I’ve told him that I need feedback from in the first half of January to scare him a little bit,” said Solbakken.
“Because then he thinks if he says ‘no’ he won’t play in the team.
“That’s my trump card.
“He hasn’t given me any vibes (that he will sign) but I think he likes what we’re doing, and that’s always a good start.
“But as I tell him, there are a lot of good central defenders out there.”
Solbakken admits he could risk being left in limbo if Berra stalls on a decision for much longer.
“It makes it very difficult if he decides in mid-January because it’s very close to the end of the window,” said the boss.
“If he doesn’t sign and he doesn’t then play then he won’t be a very
attractive proposition in the summer – that’s how I’m thinking.
“He’s thinking ‘I can sit there and wait’, but it’s dangerous.
“But it’s not as easy as it sounds for the player either - he could break his leg.”Subscribe to our Newsletter