Jackett: No need to sell Pompey assets

Kenny Jackett is adamant he is under no pressure to sell off Pompey's prized assets.

Tuesday, 6th June 2017, 7:00 am
Updated Tuesday, 6th June 2017, 3:01 pm
New Pompey boss Kenny Jackett Picture: Joe Pepler

But he anticipates Paul Cook showing interest in the Blues squad he left behind.

The new Pompey boss is familiarising himself with the playing staff he has inherited following his appointment on Friday.

Jackett has the enviable position of taking the reins at a club on the up following their League Two title triumph.

Sign up to our daily newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

Enda Stevens, Michael Doyle and Liam O’Brien have already departed in subsequent weeks – along with Cook and his assistant, Leam Richardson.

There remain concerns the newly-appointed Wigan manager could return to pluck some of his ex-players from Fratton Park.

Yet Jackett insists there has been no interest in any of his squad – and neither does he need to sell.

He said: ‘No, we’re not in a position where we have to sell.

‘I have been able to look at where they are contractually. It’s the same for every club, your better players will always be considered in the window – and that is where we are.

‘We are in the main transfer window for building squads so your better players will always be considered by clubs higher up, that has always been the case.

‘But until the phone rings, until bids come in, there is nothing you have to consider. At the moment there are no such bids.

‘I am not under any pressure, there are no deals that have to be done or we have to sell X or Y to pay for any particular situation.

‘That has not been the case and that’s a nice situation to inherit.’

Considering Cook’s often fractious relationship with Kal Naismith, that is one reunion considered extremely improbable.

Similarly, his reticence to employ Conor Chaplin as a Pompey starter would render any interest unlikely.

Kyle Bennett, who flourished under Cook, and Gareth Evans have signed long-term deals since the season’s end.

Central-defensive pairing Christian Burgess and Matt Clarke are highly-regarded by the Wigan boss, however.

It remains to be seen whether he attempts to lure them from Fratton Park.

Clarke has two years remaining on his existing deal, putting Pompey in a position of strength.

Meanwhile, the Blues are keen to tie down Burgess to a fresh long-term contract.

Jackett added: ‘I am sure Paul Cook will want players here and have some ideas.

‘I am also sure coming back to his former club will be the case – many managers do that.

‘Our players are under contract, though, their focus should be on when we start and also handling the step up – and it is a step up in level.

‘I am sure the players will be enthusiastic to prove themselves at the new level and that should be their focus right now.’