CHIEF executive Will Brown insists Gloucestershire have not given up hope of keeping Will Gidman despite Durham emerging as favourites to secure his signature.

The all-rounder is thought to be attracting the interest of several counties with his contract expiring at the end of the season and could be tempted away by the chance to play in Division One of the County Championship.

The Gazette understands that Gidman would favour a move north to be closer to his wife’s family and that Durham are keen on re-signing the player who left them to join Gloucestershire four years ago.

Yorkshire were also alerted by the 29-year-old’s possible availability but their interest appears to have cooled, leaving Durham at the front of the queue.

Brown was unable to confirm whether there have been any 28-day approaches for Gidman, which would allow him to talk to other counties, but is working hard to keep key players at the club with captain Michael Klinger also out of contract at the end of the season.

“We’re going through an appraisal process with all players at the moment,” Brown told the Gazette.

“There are lots of players we’d love to keep and we’ll do our utmost to keep Will.

Gidman’s remarkable statistics show why he has become one of the hottest properties in county cricket.

In 55 first class matches he has amassed 2,637 runs at an average of 38.77 and taken 194 wickets at 21.86 apiece.

Gidman became only the seventh player of all-time to achieve the unique double of scoring 1,000 runs and claiming 50 wickets in a County Championship season in 2011, having only made one first-class appearance in his previous four years at Durham.

Despite this and claims from team-mates such as Klinger and Hamish Marshall that he should be playing international cricket, Gidman continues to be ignored by England, who rarely call players up from Division Two clubs, and Gloucestershire’s promotion hopes appear to be over this season.

Brown was more bullish about Gloucestershire’s hopes of holding onto Australian Klinger, who is still weighing up whether it would be viable to spend another season in England with his children starting school next year.

“With Michael it’s a case of still talking to him. He’s hit a bit of form at the right time and we’d love him to stay,” said Brown.

“The conversations with him will be really positive and we’ll make sure we have a long chat with his family.

“If he comes back to the UK we hope he comes back to Gloucestershire. We hope and think that’s the case.

“We’re positive about our future with him and we’re giving him time and space to make the right decision.

“The reality is with all players there is so much more to their lives than cricket, especially those with families.

“They have to consider schooling and being nearer the wider family. In cricket more than any other sport it is more prevalent because they don’t get anywhere near the sums of football or rugby players.”

David Payne, Graeme McCarter and Tom Shrewsbury are also out of contract at the end of the season.