Pompey target securing prized pair

POMPEY are targeting summer talks to extend the deals of Christian Burgess and Kal Naismith.

Monday, 15th May 2017, 6:00 am
Updated Monday, 15th May 2017, 9:36 am
Kal Naismith, Christian Burgess. Pompey training at Westleigh Park. Tuesday, July 7, 2015. Picture: Colin Farmery PPP-150807-162054001

The key duo are entering the final 12 months of their contracts – and Paul Cook is desperate to retain both.

Enda Stevens will leave on a free transfer this summer, with Sheffield United the likely destination.

Meanwhile, skipper Michael Doyle has opted to return to Coventry on a 12-month deal.

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First-team regulars Kyle Bennett and Gareth Evans are also out of contract, with talks currently being held.

In addition, the Blues are striving to ensure some of their other prized assets aren’t given the opportunity to slip away.

Mark Catlin said: ‘Priority number one is to get the existing players signed up.

‘Number two is bringing in new players and strengthening the squad.

‘Number three is making sure players running into their last year are signed up.

‘This will take place over the summer.

‘With the likes of Naismith and Burgess, we wish to do that as soon as possible.

‘Paul has already identified the players in their last year he wants us to speak to.

‘As soon as we get the current round of talks out of the way, that is our aim.

‘It’s important to keep our best players for the continuity of the club moving forward, irrespective of the ownership model.’

Meanwhile, Catlin insists productive talks are continuing with other members of the squad.

He added: ‘We are already in the process of contract talks and speaking to a number of agents.

‘I am pretty optimistic we can get deals done for the ones Paul wants to keep.

‘Although, when it comes down to their wage demands, we can’t be silly.’