Contract talks on hold for Portsmouth stars

Player contract talks will not be held until beyond Christmas as Pompey's focus remains fixed on promotion.

Tuesday, 16th October 2018, 4:21 pm
Updated Tuesday, 16th October 2018, 5:30 pm
Jack Whatmough is among five first-teamers out of contract at the season's end. Picture: Joe Pepler

The Blues have five first-team players whose deals expire next summer '“ plus three loan additions.

They include Jack Whatmough, Nathan Thompson, Gareth Evans, Dion Donohue and Danny Rose.

Of that quintet, four started last weekend's 2-1 triumph at AFC Wimbledon '“ an outcome which strengthened Pompey's place at League One's summit.

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Jack Whatmough is among five first-teamers out of contract at the season's end. Picture: Joe Pepler

However, there are currently no plans to negotiate fresh deals with current squad members.

Instead, Kenny Jackett is keen to prioritise all energy on the field of play to maintain such early-season promise.

And all contract discussions are scheduled to commence in line with the January transfer window.

The Blues boss said: '˜I don't think anything will be done at the moment contract-wise, only because we have to really concentrate.

'˜I certainly cannot see any contracts being discussed before Christmas.

'˜We renewed some contracts this time last year, but this time around all of our focus and concentration as a club is going to be on football until Christmas.

'˜It will come on us pretty quickly. We will then assess the whole squad as we get up to the next (transfer) window.

'˜Your own internal contracts go hand-in-hand with your squad planning. Your squad planning is opened up when the windows are there, particularly the summer one.

'˜There are decisions and the likes of Whatmough, Evans and Thompson are in the team and doing well currently. They've had good starts to the season, pretty positive.

'˜But we certainly won't be doing anything this side of Christmas. Having said that, it will come around pretty quickly.

'˜Our own contracts will run alongside our squad planning for the next window or windows.'

Jamal Lowe, Christian Burgess and Ben Close all signed new deals during the first half of last season.

This time around the Blues are more strongly placed for a consistent promotion challenge, following 30 points from their opening 13 fixtures.