GARY Liddle will be staying at Hartlepool United - for at least one further season.
It comes as a boost for Pools and a blow for a few clubs watching the situation, with Middlesbrough understood to be one of the interested parties.
Liddle had been the only name on the retained list not to have signed a deal after Adam Boyd, James Brown, Scott Flinders, Peter Hartley and Paul Murray all put pen to paper on new contracts.
While Liddle was coming to the end of his current deal, Pools have chosen to exercise a clause they put in players’ contracts to keep them for a further season.
It is a policy which has served them well, most notably when it appeared that Joel Porter would be leaving the Vic in the summer of 2008. But Pools implemented the clause to keep the popular Aussie.
Keeping Liddle is a major plus for first-team coach Mick Wadsworth, who has made him one of his first-choice midfield men. The 24-year-old former Middlesbrough player, who had been linked with a move back to Boro, netted six times this season.