Birch optimistic over Mokoena agreement

Aaron Mokoena
Aaron Mokoena
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Trevor Birch remains optimistic an agreement can still be reached for Aaron Mokoena to depart Pompey.

The 31-year-old has been lined-up with a switch to South African side Bidvest Wits.

However, the switch has been held up over his demands for £600,000 to rip up the final 12 months of his contract.

That includes money owed as well as compensation for the remainder of his contract, now around £10,000-a-week after a relegation clause was triggered.

The stalemate recently prompted Birch to criticise the stance taken by his agent after negotiations hit a wall.

Regardless, talks are continuing ahead of Monday’s return to pre-season training.

And Birch is hopeful a compromise agreement can be thrashed out.

He said: ‘I am still talking with Aaron’s agent in terms of an agreement compromise.

‘I would say at the moment it is going okay.

‘We are continuing to talk so you have got to be hopeful an agreement can be reached.

‘As before, we need to remove players from the club’s wage bill and are working hard on trying to achieve that.

‘Conversations are also still going on with Kanu and Tal Ben Haim.

‘Agreements must be made because time is running out.’

Meanwhile, Birch is adamant Pompey have still to receive a bid for any of the remaining players.

Leeds are pursuing Luke Varney, while Cardiff are monitoring Liam Lawrence.

In addition, David Norris is interesting Sheffield Wednesday and Leeds.

Birch added: ‘No-one has made any offers.

‘There have been things going on behind the scenes but nothing official yet.’