Date:Tuesday June 20 2006
Southampton's midfield duo Djamel Belmadi and Matthew Oakley have been told by boss George Burley that they have until the end of this week to decide their Saints' futures.
Fans will no doubt be anxious that the pair choose to sign with only four first team midfielders currently contracted to the club.
Oakley is the longest serving player in the current first team squad and was once touted as a future England international. He clearly has a lot of talent but in the past few seasons has failed to deliver performances of the high quality with which fans came to associate him.
Belmadi is also seen by many fans as an integral part of the team with his trickery on the ball and ability to create chances for the strikers. Former boss Harry Redknapp was only to eager to point out that many Premiership managers were interested in signing the ex Algerian player of the year.
Despite the undoubted quality of the two players boss Burley has given them until the end of the week to sign a new deal or find another club.
He told the Daily Echo:-
'The Freedom of contract is fair enough. It allows them an opportunity to take up other options and to look to see if they want to move on, which is their right.'
'But as a club we need to know if they are going to stay.'
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