Cheltenham Town defender Will Boyle is set to complete a dramatic U-turn and agree a new two-year contract with the club.
The central-back was left out of the Robins’ squad for Saturday’s 1-0 home defeat to rivals Forest Green Rovers, with Johnson suggesting that the 22-year-old had rejected the offer of an extended deal.
There had been suggestions that Boyle had made his final appearance for the club. However, Gloucestershire Live understands the 22-year-old Yorkshireman will remain at Whaddon Road for the next two years.
This comes as a shock to Robins’ supporters, especially as boss Gary Johnson admitted after the weekend loss that he was not convinced Boyle’s mind would be focused on the derby environment.
“I didn’t feel he was right mentally to come into the game,” Johnson told Gloucestershire Live.
“We have been talking about contracts with him and we’ve made him an offer, which we feel is a very good offer, but he’s got advice from other people to say other clubs are interested.
“At that point you have to make sure people who are playing in our team have that urge to play for this football club. That was all really.
“I am sure he’d feel he was mentally ready to play, but I have always found over the years if you make someone an offer you think is a good one, it’s very difficult to play them if they turn that down.”
Boyle originally joined Cheltenham from Huddersfield Town on an 18-month deal in January 2017 and has made more than 50 starts for the League Two outfit as the Robins have established themselves as a competitive League Two side.
— Jon Palmer (@JonPalmerSport) November 11, 2017
He has become a vital part of Johnson’s plans since his arrival, and he is enjoying a fine run of form during the second half of this campaign. The defender has also made a positive contribution in the scoring department, netting his fifth goal of the season in the 3-0 home win over Morecambe earlier this month.
After giving Boyle a chance to rebuild his career at Whaddon Road, Johnson believes the transfer speculation has had a negative effect on his star defender in training over the last couple of weeks.
“That’s the truth of this stage of the season, with players having their heads turned by other clubs and if they can earn more somewhere else, you shake their hand, say good luck and wish them all the best.”
Johnson continued: “I feel we have done a lot for Boyley, who is a great lad and I like him a lot. We haven’t fallen out over it, but that’s the situation.
“I couldn’t play him as I didn’t think his mind would have been on it. The last couple of days’ training it looked like that too, so it gave me an opportunity to see Joe Rodon.”