HARTLEPOOL United chairman Ken Hodcroft has revealed that Gary Liddle did NOT want to leave the club despite failing to agree a new contract.
The club were left with no choice but to exercise a one-year option clause to keep the talented midfielder at Victoria Park.
There had been speculation that Liddle may have been angling for a move away from Pools, with former club Middlesbrough reportedly showing interest.
However, Hodcroft has told SportMail that the 24-year-old was always happy to remain at The Vic and says the player is well within his rights to keep an open mind as to his future.
“Gary didn’t want to move but he didn’t want to sign a longer deal either,” said the Newcastle-born businessman.
“It got to the deadline day so we had to exercise the option.
“But to give him his dues he is keen on staying and he hasn’t been forced into it.
“I checked with Mick (Wadsworth) and he said Gary wants to stay so I think everyone is happy.
“If that’s a case of him being in the shop window for the next year then fair enough.
“We can’t begrudge him that and if he does fantastic then it’s all the better for us because it means we’ve got another great season out of him.
“If Gary’s done well enough to attract interest from bigger clubs then the team will probably have done well and so it’s win-win really.”
Full story in Monday’s Mail