Posted: 21.07.21 at 10:13 by The Editor
DAVE Artell remains hopeful that Crewe Alex contract rebel Tommy Lowery will agree a new contract and return from the 'wilderness'.
The midfielder has been left out of Crewe's warm-up games, including last night's defeat (2-3) at the hands of Stoke City, after refusing to sign fresh terms amid a simmering row between the Alex boss and the player's agent.
Academy-produced Lowery, 23, is out of contract next summer and Crewe have presented him with an extended deal to safeguard their investment. They would not receive a compensation fee were he to leave at the end of the 2021/22 campaign because by then he would be 24.
Artell believes the player is being badly advised and is mindful of the wrangle that developed last season with Ryan Wintle, whom he says he only continued to select because his replacement, Josh Lundstram, was injured.
Artell told Crewe Nub News: "Tommy's contract is still there on the table and he doesn't want to sign it. Fair enough and I can't make him. But I've said if you don't want to then 'don't play'.
"But I think he might change his mind because he wants to play for this club and I want him to play for this football club. He's taken some bad advice."
Wintle departed to Cardiff City last month on a free transfer as he had turned 24. He fended off contract talks throughout last season.
But Artell added: "Ryan Wintle got lucky that Josh Lundstram had broken his leg otherwise he wouldn't have played. As soon as I knew he didn't want to sign for this football club [that would have been the case].....but I didn't have anyone ready that is the truth.
"Well I did, but he broke his leg otherwise he would have played. I've got to protect this football club, it's as simple as that."
The Crewe boss says he tried to engage with Lowery's agent in recent weeks to no avail, but added: "The agent didn't want to enter into negotiations, but apparently he does now. Well too late, tough luck.
"Either Tom wants to come into the offices and carry on discussions or it's at a standstill. I've said to him if that is the case he won't play for the club. No one person is bigger than this club.
"If people want to dictate their terms, well tough luck. If Tom doesn't realise that then he'll be in the wilderness until he does.
"I don't want to do it, I look at him and think 'you're breaking my heart Tom', but he's making some poor decisions and he's taken some poor advice."
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