MK Dons announced their retained list on Saturday, with 15 players currently under contract for the 2020/21 season. Russell Martin, though, is expecting changes to the squad by the time the new campaign gets underway.
The Dons’ retained list revealed 15 players in contract, while three players in Callum Brittain, Dean Lewington and Joe Walsh had been offered new terms to keep them at Stadium MK.
In an interview with MKFM, boss Martin revealed his happiness at having the majority of his key players tied down for next season but didn’t rule out changes – both incomings and outgoings – prior to the first game of the 2020/21 campaign.
“I’m really happy with the guys we’ve still got,” Martin said during the MK Dons Fans Forum on MKFM.
“We have a lot of our key players under contract, players that have been strong players for us. The spine of the team is strong and we have some really key younger players who are still here too and will grow again next year.
“We have a few who are not part of the long-term plans and they may have to move on. The chairman and Andy have been great that we don’t need to sell any of our key players but there will be players who are under contract that might have to move on.
“Everyone knows where they stand, I’ve spoken honestly to all of them. I’m sure there will be movement, whether that’s people coming in and people going out.
“The plan is to bring players in to help those we have here get us to where we want to go. We’ve got targets in mind and we’ve been watching players relentlessly to make sure we’re in the best position when it comes to recruitment.
“We’ll be looking to get the best players in that we can at the best price. I can’t say how many players will come in, but I will be looking to bring in players that fit the profile of what an MK Dons player should be.
“There are obvious positions that we need to strength and improve - we only have one goalkeeper under contract in Lee so that’s something we need to address – but we are looking to strengthen across the board.
“If a top player becomes available, that is right for us, then we’ll look at them, regardless of position. We’re looking at every avenue. Hopefully, come the first game of the season, people will see the logic in what we’ve done.”
Players who do arrive at Stadium MK this offseason are likely to do so on loan or as a free agent, with Martin revealing the Club are working hard to identify the best players available in both markets.
"We have to be really open and be really flexible in the way that we do business," he said. "I think that will heavily be loan signings and free agents.
"There will be a lot of free agents and during this period, we’ve been working our way through those lists and identifying the best ones.
"In terms of the loan market, I don’t think we utilised it as best we could at the start of last season. We have to be really open and be really flexible in the way that we do business and I think that will heavily be loan signings and free agents.
"We are allowed a certain amount of loans and it’s up to us to identify the best ones to bring to the Football Club – whether that’s young prospects coming from the top or experienced players that can come in and help the group."