Dario still hoping Clayton will see his future at Gresty Road
Dario Gradi remains hopeful that the club’s young striker Max Clayton will extend his stay with the club this summer. Clayton, 19, endured a frustrating season after fracturing his ankle in the club’s FA Cup tie against Wycombe back in November. The local lad did regain his fitness for the last few remaining games of the season, but he was an unused substitute for the remaining two games of the season against Bristol City and Preston North End.
Clayton did enjoy some success though when scoring a superb winner for the club’s Under-21s in the final of the Professional Development League Two Final at Queens Park Rangers.
Recently, Clayton described Dario Gradi as the biggest influence on his career in the match day programme, and the club’s Director of Football is still hoping that the talented forward will continue his development with us.
Clayton is out of contract this summer and has thus far not signed a new one. If he was to leave then Crewe would expect a substantial fee for his services but we would hope to avoid a tribunal process.
Dario told crewealex.net: “We have healthy discussions at the club as coaches and after games with the chairman and the directors in the boardroom and that is always good. We all talk about what we would do and it is always calm and constructive.
“I have been of the opinion that I would have picked Max (Clayton) when he was fit. Steve and Neil would say that when he was picked he didn’t play particularly well and at times I would agree. Sometimes I was proved right and sometimes they were. That is football with all the different opinions.
“I think that type of discussion is healthy and Max didn’t play too many games last season because he broke his ankle and that was a major set-back for him.
“I just want Max to do well. I have nurtured him through the Academy, his brother Harry is here helping with some coaching and his dad (Paul) played for me, so I like him and the family and want him to do as well as he can in the game.
“It would be disappointing if he was to leave and I am still hoping he will stay. I’ve just said to him that if he ever needs any help or to talk, then I am always available. All we can do is see what happens.”
And what happens if Clayton elected to move this summer?
Dario said: “We always considered Max to be a potential £3 million player, like Nick (Powell). We have to be realistic and it is unlikely we would get near that figure. If someone is thinking about coming in and taking him for next to nothing then of course we would stand up to that as well.
We would have to try and come to compromise to suit all parties. “What we would try to do is to be as fair as we can. I wouldn’t allow greed on anyone’s part to prevent him having a career.
“I would like him to re-sign and see how things go here, especially after what happened to him last year but we are way off that yet.”