I'm sure Howson will find his way into the team regardless of where he gets to play. He does the business, bags of experience and is a leader on the pitch. I'd say it's pretty likely that he'll take the arm-band if Friend leaves this summer too. Especially in a Championship team, having his energy available to us even as a second choice midfielder could be invaluable. If we're talking losing Howson because we have McNair, Tav and Wing I think you're missing an important point of what he brings to us. There's a lot of experienced players whose contracts are running out, losing them all at once will leave us begging for leaders or expecting more from young players. If the money can be right for Howson and Ayala to stay for another couple of years, I'd be happy with that. I'd rather do that and keep players we know than go out hunting for someone else to do the same thing.
He might not be a key player, but as you say he is versatile and can fill in at CM, RB, RWB and now CD. If it's true that he is willing to accept around 8k then I think it would be a wise choice. He is the kind of player that can play on until he's in his late 30's like Barry. I'd much rather lose Clayton and offload Saville.
Yeah Teamtalk (Bailey the writer I guess) say Tavs signed up, that leaves Spence and then the senior lads.
Also for the first time I can remember a couple of days ago the Gazette joined the Echo in confirming Clayton's up at the end of this season not 2021 after months of claiming he was the latter. Honestly if Ayala is possible sign him up but Howson, I mean if Tav's a CM moving forward and McNair's there plus Wing I don't see a point to resigning Howson he's not as good going forward as them and we should sign a proper holding midfielder in the summer which he isn't either so I'm not sure with resigning him, I can see the case for his versatility and the fact we're losing so many players I guess you try to resign him but personally I'm not sold he'd be a key player for us next season.