Bishop rejects City deal but wants to stay

York Press: Neal Bishop Neal Bishop

YORK City midfielder Neal Bishop is set to walk away from KitKat Crescent unless his salary falls in line with the club's top earners.

Out-of-contract Bishop, who was the players' and supporters' choice as Player of the Year last season, has rejected the new deal he has been offered with the Minstermen and is currently attracting interest from Scottish Premier Division new boys Gretna, Football League outfit Bury and Conference rivals Oxford United.

The former Whitby Town and Scarborough player is now a free agent under the Bosman ruling but has insisted his preference remains kicking off next season in City colours as long as he receives improved terms from the club.

Bishop, 24, helped the England National Game XI side win the Four Nations Tournament in Scotland at the weekend but, after his return south of the border, his future remains unclear.

He said: "I've turned down the new deal because it was not what I was after. I wasn't one of the best-paid players at the club last season and I still wouldn't be under the terms of the new contract.

"I feel I had a half-decent season and I wouldn't ask for massive money because I know the club haven't got it. I just want to be treated the same as the other lads.

"If the deal was right I would love to stay because I think, with the players that are being kept on, we will have another good season and to go up with York would be great. The club would take off because we are a League club playing in the Conference.

"The fans have been great to me since I've been here and the location of the club is right for me. I live in Middlesbrough and travel down with Faz (Craig Farrell) and a few other lads so I would probably have to move home if I left the club.

"The lads are the best set I've ever played with and Billy's probably the best manager I have worked with and is another reason I'd like to stay."

City are due to report back for pre-season training on June 27 and Bishop is hoping that negotiations can take place between now and then that will secure his signature for 2007-08.

He added: "I spoke to a few clubs in the Football League, Conference and Scotland before I went away with England but I did not want to agree anything. I still hope something can be sorted out at York.

"I've had a call from a Gretna scout, spoken to Bury and Oxford also gave me a ring but I wouldn't want to go to another Conference club because I wouldn't want to play against all my mates at York. The gaffer is away at the minute so I'm not rushing into signing for anybody."

Despite winning accolades from his peers and supporters during the last campaign, Bishop also feels that next season could be his best yet, saying: "I only got four goals which I can improve on and, even though last season was my best ever, I still think I can do better."

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