Baker in stand-off with Pompey

Pompey winger Carl Baker Picture: Joe Pepler
Pompey winger Carl Baker Picture: Joe Pepler
Joe Pigott celebrates Southend's winner against Pompey in League Two. Picture: Joe Pepler

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Carl Baker believes the ball’s in Pompey’s court over his future.

The Blues winger has clarified his position after being told he can leave Fratton Park.

Kenny Jackett told The News on Thursday he’d held talks with Baker, with both parties deciding an exit would be the best option.

The 34-year-old is still contracted to the club until next summer, however, and stated there’s been no discussion over a compromise agreement to his departure.

Former employers Coventry have been continually linked with a move for Baker, but Jackett stated there’s been no contact from the League Two outfit.

The player insisted there’s no ill feeling on his part, but his position is clear.

Baker said: ‘What I’ve said to the club three weeks ago, this week and will say again next week, is the ball is in their court.

‘The club want me to leave and I still have a year’s contract left.

‘I totally understand things can change in football. We’ve had a new manager come in and Kenny has his own opinions.

‘I totally respect that and have no problems with him at all. There’s no bad blood at all with anyone.

‘But I don’t want to get involved in any games. I just want to be 100-per-cent honest with everyone.

‘I don’t want to say one thing and not mean it.

‘What I’ve said to the club before won’t change. I want to be consistent.

‘I thought I was going to be here. I’ve just spent £200 in the club shop buying my kids shirts and tracksuits.

‘Would I have done that if I was trying to leave?

‘It seems to have come up again, though, after Saturday (being left out of the squad for the Walsall game).

‘I want to play football but no one in their right mind would walk away from a contract.

‘The club want me to go and that’s fair enough.

‘I don’t want to be somewhere I’m not wanted, but the contract is going to need sorting at the same time.

‘I’ve had lots of nice messages from supporters saying thanks for everything. At the moment, though, I’m not out the door.

‘I’m not going to walk away from a contract for free. I think that’s understandable. Anyone in any job would understand that.

‘I just want to be honest about the situation to everyone.

‘There’s no point pulling the wool over people’s eyes.

‘The club need to make me an offer to leave. If that offer doesn’t come then I’m going to stay.

‘From my point of view, it’s black and white.’

Jackett knows he has to sell before he continues strengthening his squad, with the transfer deadline set for Thursday night.

That’s going to make it an interesting few days at PO4, with striker Michael Smith also already told he’s surplus to requirements.

There’s been no contact with the club over Smith, and Baker is aware he is now someone who can free up money in Jackett’s budget.

He added: ‘I feel for the manager, really. It seems me leaving is going to be a part of other players coming in.

‘So the longer it goes on it’s going to be more difficult for him to get people.

‘I’m not trying to bargain or barter. If nothing happens I’ll be a Portsmouth player. It’s as simple as that.

‘Portsmouth have someone they don’t want at the club who they’re going to end up paying all of his wages to probably not play.

‘Obviously, I don’t want to be somewhere I’m not wanted and not playing.

‘But if that’s the way it ends up then that’s the way it ends up.

‘I just want to be honest with everyone how things stand.’