It's hard to imagine, unless his manager can keep working miracles and deliver the almost impossible dream of promotion, that Wolverhampton Wanderers' prize asset Matt Murray will still be at Molineux next season.
But, should 'SuperMatt' ever move on (and that is surely no longer an 'if' but a 'when' given his form this season) after yesterday signing up their star keeper on a new long-term contract, Wolves now at least appear to have guaranteed themselves the best possible price.
Murray, who has been in sensational form this season, will keep goal for Wolves against Leicester City at Molineux this afternoon with the ink barely dry on a new three-and-a-half year deal — a term that would automatically be extended by a further 12 months should Wolves reach the Premiership at any point during that time.
And, as he enjoys what is still only his second full season in the game at the age of 25, all Murray has to do now is stay fit.
It remains one of the saddest stories in Midland soccer that, after keeping goal in Wolves' promotion-winning team of 2003-04, Murray was crocked just one match into his Premiership career. And, having spent the best part of two years out injured, at a time when Wolves' fortunes have plummeted so badly, Murray still has to prove to any interested parties out there, that, over the long term, he has what it takes to attract serious offers.
But, for now, Wolves are delighted to have ended the immediate speculation over Murray's future, at a time when it was becoming an increasing concern that his existing contract was due to expire at the end of next season.
Wolves had their fingers burned when they lost Kenny Miller to Celtic for nothing when his contract expired at the end of June. But now, should Murray stay fit, they can start talking at the sort of #5 million price tag they got when Everton signed Joleon Lescott.
That is all in the future, however. And, for now, Wolves manager Mick McCarthy can concentrate on trying to keep Murray in the sort of outstanding form that has helped carry his team to ninth in the Championship table.
"It's great news for the club that Matt has re-signed," said McCarthy. "This shows his commitment to Wolves and I'm thrilled.
"We are trying to build a team here and that's a huge boost because we all rate him very highly and think he's one of the best keepers in the country."
Captain Jody Craddock knows better than anyone just how important Murray has been to the team this season.
"It's fantastic to have Matt behind us," he said. "We're always going to make mistakes as defenders, the ball's always going to get through us, but to have Matt there is a great feeling for us. He's a big lad, he dominates his area, and does his job really well."
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