Gillingham reopen Luke Rooney contract negotiations

Luke Rooney
Rooney has not played for Gillingham since 12 November

Gillingham have reopened contract talks with Luke Rooney, after the midfielder initially rejected a new deal.

The 20-year-old has not played for the Gills since turning down a new contract in November.

Manager Andy Hessenthaler told BBC Radio Kent: "There's been a conversation with the chairman, Luke and his representatives.

"I think if everybody is sensible enough then hopefully we can get something sorted out."

Rooney has been linked with a move away from Priestfield, with Swindon Town showing their hand last week.

However, Hessenthaler believes that, despite not picking the midfielder since he failed to agree a new deal, Rooney still has a future at the club.

"It needs to be resolved but at the moment we've come to a bit of a standstill," said Hessenthaler. "Hopefully we can resolve it.

"If we can't, we'll go with the squad that's been doing as well as they have over the last few weeks."

He added: "The chairman knows that we want him to stay and if he wants to, then maybe there has to be some negotiation there.

"Once he agrees, hopefully he can get on with his football."

In Rooney's absence, Gillingham have gone four games unbeaten in all competitions, reaching the third round of the FA Cup and climbing to seventh in League Two.

When asked if Rooney would remain unavailable for selection whilst contract negotiations were ongoing, Hessenthaler responded: "Yes. At the moment, definitely."

Gillingham travel to Macclesfield on Saturday. Full commentary is available on 96.7 & 104.2FM and DAB.