Ramon Nunez today secured a new contract that will keep him at Elland Road until 2015, with an option of a further year thrown in for good measure.

The 25-year-old Honduran made a sensational start to the 2011/12 season netting five times and making his way into the starting line-up against Crystal Palace following the sale of Max Gradel. However, the winger failed to produce the kind of game-changing performance he’d made from the bench and was subsequently dropped in favour of Andy Keogh for the visit of Manchester United.

Ramon Nunez becomes the second Leeds United player to extend his contract with the club following in the footsteps of Tom Lees who secured a similar deal at the end of September.

Whilst the news of Nunez’s new contract will be music to the ears of most Whites fans, there is still some cause for concern as negotiations with Jonny Howson continue. The homegrown club captain is Leeds United’s longest serving playing and has made over 200 appearances for his home town club, but his current deal expires at the end of the current season.

There will also be some concern about Adam Clayton and Robert Snodgrass. Whilst both players are tied to the club until the end of the 2012/13 season, fresh long-term contracts would go a long way to assuring fans they won’t follow in the footsteps of Max Gradel, leaving Leeds United forced to sell next summer.

  • Matthew

    Looks like I was correct when I said ages back on here to people Nunez will stay, the guy has an affinity for Leeds, he gave up his international place in his countrys team to try and secure himself a first team spot. I think he is one of few players in recent history that is planning a long term future at Leeds and isn’t just using the club as a springboard to attract a higher salary move at a prem club.

    I respect players like him.

  • Colin

    All quiet on the Aidy White front also. I think his contract expires this season too?

    The Howson contract was offered some time ago. You would think that suggests that Howson wasn’t happy with the first offer. Leeds have got a challenge on their hands re-signing Howson. Schmeichel said that Howson would be a manager one day and Stuart Pearce said he was ‘mature beyond his years’ and it’s no surprise that he’s the Captain ‘of a big club at such a young age.’

    Forget dealing with his agent, there’s no pulling the wool over Howson’s eyes. He’s going to want good money and (if the wage structure at Leeds is to be believed) it will mean offering him more than any other current player.

    Howson’s in a very strong position. He’s the mainstay of this Leeds United team – We’ve (Howson and us) been through it all together and we have had our ups and downs and so has Howson. No moaning, no complaining, no transfer requests. He’s just got on with it. Now it’s his pay day and he knows it.

    He’s a shrewd cookie and it takes a very brave board to not keep their star youth academy player, longest servant to the club, and here’s the big one – their Captain.

    If Leeds can’t keep their Captain, that sends out a message to the fans, to the opposition and to other players, that Leeds are there for the taking.

    If Leeds don’t agree a contract with Howson, then there is the default ‘blame the player/agent but not us’ statement that they can release and just remove the name Beckford/Johnson/Kilkenny and replace it with Howson. But that’s a brave brave move. I genuinely think that Howson is Mr. Leeds and he wants to be here and if the club attack Howson, then there will be a backlash from the fans, and I guarantee that Howson will go public. And then Grayson will have to get rid of Howson quick-sharp or drop him. Okay, that gets rid of the Howson problem, but I doubt that the likes of Clayton or Snodgrass will be too impressed.

    The Leeds board need to think about this very carefully. He should perhaps be given a little more than they would like to give. Why? You lose Howson, you’re going to create a world of discontent in the Leeds squad.

    • TSS

      The difficulty with Howson’s contract could simply be what happens after promotion. In his situation, I’d be expecting a substantial pay-rise once Leeds are back in the Prem. I suspect this has complicated all our contract negotiations. 

      • Anonymous

        That is a massive factor in championship for all the teams what happens if they get promoted and you are right it has to affect negotiations..

        The other thing is that leeds have to be competitive, to be fair noone knows the true wage picture at leeds we are guessing ,but fact is the days of the very fact leeds have called means nothing .

        There are some decent teams in this division ,add that to a decent wage etc has i am sure meant we have missed out on some good players .

        There is  a new wage structure i believe coming in to the F L the fact is bates is hoping this will mean leeds and his penny pinching is more competitive,but  wages are 1 thing clubs will come up with other ways of getting players in by offering lucrative bonuses etc and cars etc etc even houses ,he will have to be competitive ..

        howson will not sign  I M O ,this could have a knock on affect for the manager ,it could be the  final straw if Grayson looses his captain through lack of money

        • TSS

          Can’t see Howson leaving. He can’t achieve legendary status anywhere but Elland Road, that’s always going to be in the back of his mind. 

          • Colin

            That’s a really good point TSS. I’m not being funny, but he’s not a million miles away from Legend status. Over 200 matches for LUFC, longest serving player AND Captain AND only 23.

            And he’s the central figure on an official EA Sports FIFA game cover. Sounds trivial, but that’s not going to happen for many other players in the game, and he’s still just a Championship player! That’s something he can show his children and grand-children.

            If he can be Captain of Leeds United AFC, in the PL, then that’s him made for life in football and financially. It gets no better.

            It’s a very good point indeed TSS and I agree.

          • Anonymous

            he is fastly becoming a legend true ,but he has also had his critics particularly this season .

            we have had plenty of leeds united legends leave over the years thats the way it is footy is a transient occupation and that legend tag will be at the back of his mind ,again true ,but he will be advised by an agent ,who will be filling his head ,he will also be offered more money thats a fact and with howson it will be a premier league side that comes in for him ,

            pitt that against a club that will not break its wage structure ,and at the moment  is not in the premier league ,
            we will see by Jan where we are with this but the fact is jonny howson will not and can not be allowed to leave for nowt better to cash in we are (Yoda) than that to happen again and they will still get him cheap .

            ehhhh i hope i am wrong on this one ,i have been before

          • Colin

            I’m being Devil’s Advocate here and asking the tough questions – Here’s the question – if Howson asked for £20k a week on a 3 year contract and you were in charge of LUFC, would you offer him it? Especially if you thought that Leeds would likely be a Championship team next season?

            Head vs Heart?

          • Matthew

            Howson isn’t worth £20k a week, even if Ken Bates was a generous and all giving Chairman he wouldn’t give him that kind of money, as he isn’t the finished article.

            Besides you could get Danny Pugh and Andy Keogh for roughly that amount of money in terms of wages.

          • Anonymous

            so you know that ,so why then should we expect bates to offer him that ,we will blame him should he leave ,cant believe i am sticking up for bates

          • Anonymous

            yes i would he is a quality player one of only 2 at leeds at the min who could play in prem the other been snoddy ,but he knows he could get upward of £30.000 grand at a villa or others plus  signing fee if he is free.
            i would offer 22-23.000 grand a week and see what happens he would take it but on 5 years 

      • Colin

        Can you negotiate a 2 tier contract – eg. 2 pay rates for 1) for Championship and 2) for PL? I know you can do promotion/goal/clean sheet bonus but I thought that a 2 tier pay contract can’t be done, but I’m not sure.

        There’s always the ‘I must be the best paid player at the club clause’. Best example was Alan Shearer at Newcastle. He was on decent money, but then they signed Michael Owen on £105,000 a week.

        Next day, there was a knock on the Chairman’s door from Alan Shearer – “remember that clause in the contract?”

        • TSS

          Not sure. Howson won’t leave either way – of that I’m certain – but he may well wait to see where we are come May. Not sure I would commit to a 5 year contract now when I could command 3-4 times as much when promoted, would you? 

          • Ron Galea

            Absolutely. Although he has to ignore the offers in January and hopefully get his mind back onto the pitch. No player in his position can be accused of doing anything wrong as this might be the most lucrative/important contract he signs in his career.

        • Matthew

          It wouldn’t be impossible for players to have it written into their contracts that they will have a wage review should the club be promoted, basically a clause that says the contract will come under review should we go up to the Premier league.

    • Horsforth White

      The Howson contract was offered some time ago. You would think that suggests that Howson wasn’t happy with the first offer

      That’s a big worry Colin – there are players who we’re told never got a 2nd offer from the “financial experts” at this club & they’re no longer with us

      • Colin

        That’s a very good point.

  • Anonymous

    Nunez was always going to sign but 4+1 year is a shock !! not because of any other reason at the Minute i do not  know where  he fits in, my guess now and  think it might be good for the lad to go on loan for games for the rest of the season .

    I like Nunez he is different but he is not at the moment  an English type player  which is good to a degree but he is one footed and will be easily found out .
    HE IS NOT A GRADEL REPLACEMENT …
     
    We also have to remember and i know they are different players but he (grayson) extended grellas  contract and we never saw him again ..
     
    Howson I M O will leave for the premier league in January  i can see him at a Bolton or Blackburn or a lower end team he is not good enough for the top 6 lot sorry !!

    we can not blame him he wants to play in the prem but he currently is at a club with no ambition to get there. He would sign tomorrow if there was any ambition and decent money too , he has to look after his future ,

    This is my observation with howson he will be like a beckford and spend his footballing career mostly outside of the top flight , thats no a criticism its sadly the way forward for many an English player unless they are really special

    • Grumpy

      Nunez one-footed and will be found out?  You obviuosly didn’t see Eddie Gray, Norman Hunter or Peter Lorimer play!  They only had three legs between them.

      • Anonymous

        2 out of the 3 but football has changed since then you need to be able to use 2 feet at times its not a criticism he needs a loan  to get him 30 games now.
        he will be fantastic

  • Colin

    The thing with Howson is that, unless I’m missing something, it makes no sense for him to sign a new contract now, unless it’s a VERY BIG offer?

    Surely, all he has to do is to wait until the end of the season, and he’s a free agent. If Leeds are in the PL, then he’ll sign on PL wages, no doubt about it, and Leeds will have the money to make that happen. If Leeds aren’t in the PL, then he can take his pick of what is on offer and either stay at Leeds or join a PL club.

    Here’s some facts from PL & TV Money:

    Everton take £17m from the gate (tickets) & get £60m in TV money.
    Wolves take £10m from the gate and get £50m in TV money.

    If Leeds were promoted, they would have money to burn, and easily keep Howson.

    Problem is, if someone puts in a cheeky bid in January for Howson, then all hell breaks loose. Leeds took an offer for Gradel which (after payment to Leicester and other payments and tax) made us £1.75m. That’s peanuts.

    So if you’re willing to make £1.75m from selling your Player of The Season who got 18 goals, then what will the club do if someone offers £2m for Howson (no extra payments because he came from the Leeds Academy). On previous form, they’ll take it.

    I’m pretty sure that Howson would not want to leave, but if the club is happy to take £1.75m for Gradel??

    It makes you think.

    I know that No1inYorkshire mentioned Blackburn and Bolton. I’d put a bet on right now, that Villa might be interested – Delph and Bannan in midfield with Howson also in midfield behind Bent & Agbonlahor or perhaps Darren Bent up front on his own, with Howson lurking behind?

    That’s not a bad mid/attack lineup. Worth a £2m punt on Howson? Definitely.

    That worries me. A lot. 

    Selfishly and personally, losing Howson would make me really angry. I’ll be honest, I don’t want to lose Howson or Snodgrass. If we lost any of the others I could live with it. I’d be sad at losing the others, but when I come back from playing football (poorly) and make kicking movements pretending to shoot in my living room in front of my despairing wife, I only say the names Snodgrass and Howson. 

    Sad? Yes. 
    The truth? Yes.

    • Ron Galea

      I agree. Nothing about the Howson negotiations seem strange. My only concern is that the negotiations are affecting his form and I think he’s had a disappointing season thus far, albeit in a formation that does not help him. As for Clayton and Snoddy, I’m just happy we have them signed for next year as they remain the players most likely who can make it in the PL. I agree with Number 1 in Yorkshire that Howson doesn’t seem good enough to really crack the PL, but may be an honest bench player. Great news on Ramon – now play him!

      • Colin

        Ron, Howson hasn’t filled his true potential this season. But what I saw in the last 5 minutes against Brighton when he setup the equaliser on a plate for McCormack, was vintage Howson and his reaction showed it. That was Carlisle last minute winner Howson, Bristol equaliser Howson in the last match of the season to get us promoted from League 1.

        That’s what Howson wants to do. He doesn’t want to be defensive midfield. I think Grayson has a challenge.

        Howson or Nunez should be behind a big man up front (Becchio). Problem is, McCormack is the top scorer and on fire.

        If Grayson can work out a way to have Snodgrass knocking balls in for Becchio and McCormack with Howson or Nunez behind then it’s GOALS UNITED.

        • Ron Galea

          Spot on. I get the feeling signing Nunez gives the club a stronger bargaining position with Howson and Bates isn’t afraid to cease negotiations if they are not going to plan. That’s a cynical take on it. I fancy Howson would like to be put in his preferred role, not only for Leed’s sake, but also for his own value. I’ll be filthy if I hear a bad word about Howson this year, whatever he decides to do. He’s been a great servant of the club and has been on the spot when we’ve needed him as you rightly detail. Roll on the weekend.

    • Matthew

      At the end of the day the only thing stopping Howson signing a new contract is Howson himself. Should he decide money is worth more than loyalty there’s nothing anyone can do.

      • Anonymous

        Matthew there is no loyalty in work if someone offered you  more money than you were on and a significant amount you would take it ,me too .

        This is a job for them same as yours or mine the only thing at the back of his mind would be the fans reaction

        • Matthew

          Actually if I was happy where I was and was getting first team football every week, I would stay anywhere.

          Some players want nothing more than to kick a ball around every week and don’t care that much for slightly increased wages  elsewhere and no guarenteed spot of first team football.

          The fact Nunez and Lees to name 2 recent examples have signed long term contracts should prove that loyalty is worth more than money.

          • Anonymous

             Nunez and lees are different to howson  ,lees is only young 19 ish he has time like howson had at his age .howson is 23 which in football is slightly different in 4 years unless we are in prem lees will go too cos he will be proven at a certain level .
            howson will play in some sides in prem Blackburn ,Bolton ,villa if he doesn’t get carried away and go to Chelsea even everton to a degree  he will play in that team ,a middle prem side he will get a game every week .

            we are getting carried away with the home town boy thing again ,its not about that it has a baring sure but so will lots of other things for the lad ,
            he has to think of himself .his future and if leeds also get a significant offer history tells us they will sell so we will see .

            it is however encouraging they are giving them longer deals but talk about shutting the door when the horse has bolted ..

    • Anonymous

      villa are another side howson  would fit in ,there will not be any waiting til May if there is no deal done by the back end of the Jan window then leeds will listen to cash offers,to avoid him leaving for nothing..

      If nothing materialises then he will think leeds have let his contract run down  without a decent offer and he will be free to at least talk to others .

      surely speaking to others will open his mind  to what the premier league is paying  .

      he can i am certain negotiate a contract that said in this league i get this, but should we get promoted i get a bonus and a wage rise to this  but if we come down again i get this ,

      we also need to remember ,as a free  the signing on fee will set him up for life ,the lad is human he needs to do whats best for him and in a cruel world financial security for life will be massive

       

    • Mr Pr1979

      we will get at least £2m in compo as he was an academy player…..?

      I think he would be crazy to leave us….come on johno put pen to papper fella.

  • ludlowleeds

    I’m sure I recall player’s wages contracted to reduce after relegation, or have I just made that up? Contracts can include trigger clauses surely?

    There’s no doubt Howson could hold his own in the PL. I would venture the environment would see him develop into twice the player he is now. We need to keep him, and be seen to want to keep him. That means highest earner now, with a trigger clause if we get promoted.

    • Matthew

      That depends on the club, teams like West Ham and Birmingham had to reduce their wage bills, especially West Ham who had to get rid of a bunch of players on Premier league wages, and lets be honest here, most of the players West Ham had wern’t Premier league quality anyway so it made sense financially.

      I believe West Ham to name an example holds about 40 percent of their original premier league first team. The rest they had to get rid due to wages.

      • Colin

        Carlton Cole is on £50,000 a week. He’s scored 4. McCormack has scored 8.

  • irving08

    Howson, we all agree, is a special commodity. As such, he is not easy to place. By the same token, he is not lightly disposed of. Interesting dilemma for all concerned. Beyond feeling confident that he will still be with us season’s end, I venture no opinion on how it will end. If it was Snoddy, Clayton or White under discussion, I would be less philosophical.    

  • siamcat

    nunez signs a new deal now were told howson is stalling, i can’t see howson turning down the chance to captain his home town club all the way back to the prem, if that is the case then good riddance, but i suspect the club are willing to let him go, like gradel, johnson,and beckford.

    • Matthew

      In regards to Gradel, he handed in his transfer request close to the deadline, the club respected his wishes and let him go. It’s not just about the money, if Gradel wanted to stay he would of done so.

  • Banditsteve123

    If howson does leave at the end of the season leeds will get a transfer fee because he is under 24 came through the academy so leeds will get a fee of some kind

  • Banditsteve123

    Lets be honest about howson this season he has not been great he does have a problem playing in a midfield 2 would like to see grayson play brown clayton howson in a three with becchio mcCormack and snoddy as the front three

    • Matthew

      I’m not sure if you understand what the heck you’re talking about.

      We always play 4 – 4- 2, and secondly Brown is slow, a liability and not someone I want to see playing games for us again like Paynter, he would make our midfield weaker and if you saw some of the games he was in, he was over run by younger players lol

      I have nothing against Brown but clearly you’ve never seen the guy play in a shirt for us, we have Danny Pugh now, a much superior player. Brown is about 5 years past his excellence, like Andy O’Brien.

      We need to just keep sticking with what we have

      So

      Snodgrass, Howson, Clayton,  Pugh

      Then Keogh or Becchio/McCormack.

      I’m slightly out of position with our midfield, but play with that combo till you see whats right in your eyes lol

    • irving08

      Sorry but we’d get slaughtered: the full backs would be exposed; Brown would be by-passed, Clayton and Howson wouldn’t know which way to go – forwards, backwards or sideways – or when. Snoddy would be left with the alternative to be either stranded wide or to drop back to wide midfield – in which case we end up with 4-4-2, only now with Brown instead of Pugh, and only one player who is comforatable going wide. As for the front men, Keogh is a more effective link man, in my view, than Becchio, so until either he or McCormack go off the boil, I’m afraid he will have to be content with a sub’s role.

  • Banditsteve123

    I just think we are to open playing with wingers if brown and only if he is fit i dont think he has been since he came here and clayton sit then let snoddy mcCormack becchio and howson play the forwerd roles,howson playing in a 2 just does not work and yes i have seen brown play lets get the guy fit then pass judgement

    • Matthew

      Brown is past it, and thats the only way most people can describe him, he’s too old and slow now. Fit or not he isn’t better than what we have now. However if we were speaking of the Brown of days gone by(As in a younger Brown) then I would agree.

      Speaking of which, are you saying Clayton should sit out? I’m somewhat confused by that statement as it comes accross as vague. If you are, that would be foolish, Clayton has proven to be one of our best midfield players and can only get better, he is vital to us winning games.

      Your supposed tactics make little to no sense to me, and I’m sure others, I don’t want to offend but you’re coming accross as clueless.