Charlton Athletic players set for talks on Monday – as Lee Bowyer admits rivals have headstart with transfer plans

BY RICHARD CAWLEY
richard@slpmedia.co.uk

Charlton manager Lee Bowyer is set to hold talks with his players the day after their League One play-off final.

The Addicks could be a Championship side if they beat Sunderland at Wembley on Sunday.

But the planning for next season will need to start in earnest. The likes of Patrick Bauer, Joe Aribo, Jonny Williams and Igor Vetokele are all out of contract at the end of June. Josh Cullen, Krystian Bielik and Ben Purrington will head back to West Ham, Arsenal and Rotherham respectively.

Bowyer said: “We’ll all be in on Monday, no matter what.

Patrick Bauer

“I’ll speak to the players, as a group and then individually – because some will go and out of respect I need to speak to them. Those who are staying, it will be to thank them for the season.”

The uncertainty over what level Charlton will be competing at next season means that any transfer plans are on hold.

“We can’t advance things at the moment,” said Bowyer. “People have got a headstart at the moment because they all know where they are going and their targets.

“We know our targets but we can’t move on that until we know the outcome.”

It is the second season in a row that Charlton have reached the play-offs, which
truncates their summer break.

Doncaster Rovers’ Ben Whiteman (left) and Charlton Athletic’s Joe Aribo battle for the ball

“It is even shorter this time,” said Bowyer. “But it is what it is, we won’t mind having three or four weeks off if we’re in the Championship. I don’t think that would bother us at all. We’d all accept that!”

Camberwell-born Aribo, who turns 23 next month, looks almost certain to leave this summer – even if Charlton do manage to escape League One at the third time of asking.

Glasgow Rangers, Celtic, Southampton and Aston Villa have all been linked with the midfielder, who has not entered talks over a contract extension with the SE7 outfit.

If Aribo was to stay in England then the Addicks would still be liable for compensation.

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