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Andy Hessenthaler praises the attitude of Gillingham midfielder Luke Rooney but no agreement has yet been reached

Gillingham manager Andy Hessenthaler remains hopeful that a deal with youngster Luke Rooney can be agreed.

Rooney and his representatives met with club chairman Paul Scally on Tuesday morning to discuss a way forward.

Luke Rooney celebrates after scoring from the spot
Luke Rooney celebrates after scoring from the spot

Talks had stalled after Rooney (pictured) rejected Gillingham’s initial offer of a contract extension.

The midfielder has remained involved with the club and was with the travelling party at Leyton Orient but will remain esxcluded from first team football until a deal can be reached.

It is something Hessenthaler hopes can be concluded soon.

He said: "We believe we have offered him a good deal. Is there room for negotiation? I am sure there is. If we can come to an agreement asap then we can get Luke playing again and back in the squad and start enjoying his football again.

"We need everyone available again and it is not helping him or us so let’s hope we can reach an agreement."

Despite Hessenthaler’s hopes there was still no sign of a resolution following Tuesday’s meeting, with the Gills boss saying they are "no further" on to reaching a settlement.

If a deal can’t be reached Hessenthaler hasn’t ruled out the player being sold but hopes it doesn’t reach that stage.

"That would be the chairman’s call," he said, when asked if Rooney could be sold.

"We want players here who want to be here. I am pretty sure he does want to be here but money is something that comes into everybody’s contract.

"It’s a big part of it, they’ve got representatives but to be fair to Luke, his attitude has been spot on in training and everything he has done.

"He has continued training. I am not one for putting him in with the kids and disregarding him. I want him to stay and his attitude since we have left him out has been spot on. I can’t question him on that. He has been first class.

"I just hope we can come to an agreement and get it sorted. If we can, then great, but if we can’t then we are probably going to lose him. That’s football.

Picture: Barry Goodwin

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