Catlin: Roberts’ exit means room for Pompey to recruit

Stuart O'Keefe. Picture: Joe Pepler

Pompey midfielder will relish facing former club

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MARK CATLIN has admitted Gary Roberts’ exit has released the recruitment shackles.

And Pompey are now back in the hunt to strengthen their League One squad.

Gary Roberts. Picture: Joe Pepler

Gary Roberts. Picture: Joe Pepler

Following the double signing of Brett Pitman and Luke McGee almost a month ago, the Blues have operated a one-out, one-in policy.

The necessity to reduce the squad before adding to it resulted in Roberts and Michael Smith being informed they were surplus to requirements.

On Tuesday, Roberts left by mutual consent.

That exit enables Kenny Jackett to resolve his midfielder search, although Tareiq Holmes-Dennis’ knee injury means a new left-back is also a consideration.

We now have a bit of headroom in the budget to be able to bring someone in as a minimum

Mark Catlin

Regardless, space has been created within the playing budget to strengthen.

Pompey’s chief executive said: ‘As myself and Kenny have made clear, we are currently in a one-out, one-in policy as regards players.

‘Obviously Gary going out now frees up a little bit of space for someone to come in.

‘Kenny has a number of options and is currently looking at a variety of positions.

‘However, events can overtake you and what may have been a manager’s priority originally in regards of positions can change due to an unfortunate injury.

‘The one-out, one-in policy is the same at every single club in every single country, it depends on the player that goes out, the money that frees up and then the quality of the players that you bring in.

‘The financial cost of one player going out might free up the money for three players – so it really is dependent on the finances of the player going out to what that frees up in the squad.

‘I wouldn’t say that is a steadfast one-out, one-in.

‘All I’ll confirm is we now have a bit of headroom in the budget to be able to bring someone in as a minimum.

‘I know Kenny is keen to work and develop the players in his existing squad and we will strengthen in the specific area he feels requires it.

‘I have to stress, Kenny operates within the parameters of the budget and the way we’ve run the club in the previous four seasons – and that will continue.’

Pompey remain keen to offload Smith and potentially loan out others.

But Catlin insists nothing is imminent.

He added: ‘In terms of any further players going out, to my knowledge we are not in any serious negotiations with any player or any other football clubs.

‘However, as I have said previously, things change on a phone call. It could change within an hour, that’s the nature of football.

‘Somebody could get an injury, look at one of our players, decide that fills a gap and all of a sudden negotiations start.

‘While there isn’t anything imminent going on, it can change very quickly.’