Cotterill tells defender he must stay for now

Aaron Mokoena's Pompey future remains unclear
Aaron Mokoena's Pompey future remains unclear
Derry City winger Ronan Curtis. Picture: Lorcan Doherty/

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Steve Cotterill has told Aaron Mokoena he will not be leaving Pompey – yet.

The South Africa international is unhappy over his lack of regular first-team football at Fratton Park.

Mokoena’s advisor Dietmar Wendorff claims he has been instructed by the 30-year-old to find him another club.

However, last week he told The News that does not necessarily mean Mokoena wants to quit the Blues.

It is all news to Cotterill, who has heard nothing from the defender directly over his discontent.

With Pompey possessing just 10 players at present – including Mokoena – the Blues boss is wary of letting anyone leave.

Luke Varney, Martin Paterson and Peter Whittingham are all targets as he steps up his player hunt.

As it stands, though, Cotterill cannot afford to lose any more of his squad.

However, he has not ruled out Mokoena leaving sometime this summer if the situation at the club changes.

Cotterill said: ‘Somebody rang me up and told me Aaron wanted to leave.

‘Well, I have not heard anything about that, certainly I have not heard anything from him. Then his advisor has come out and denied that he wants to leave.

‘I don’t actually know what is going on with that.

‘One thing for sure, though, if anybody wants to leave we are not pinning them down to stay here.

‘And I haven’t had anybody coming up to me to say they want to leave.

‘I’m not sure we would let anyone leave at this moment in time.

‘That is purely down to our lack of numbers.

‘But there will be a change around here. There has been a big change around after a year and probably after two years there will be a bigger change around.

‘We can’t afford to let somebody go – unless they want to pay a decent fee.’

Mokoena lost his place in the heart of defence to Ricardo Rocha in the second half of last season.

Jason Pearce’s arrival has now created added competition for a central-defensive berth, while Pompey remain eager to bring back Greg Halford from Wolves after his impressive loan stint last season.

Since the turn of the year, Mokoena has also lost his place in South Africa’s squad.

Now, according to Wendorff, he has been interesting clubs in Qatar, Russia, Turkey and Dubai.

Cotterill added: ‘They are amazing these agents, I have never even heard of this one.

‘I’ve said it before and I will say it again, a lot of these agents decide to do a bit of talking.

‘The prime example was the agent of Hermann (Hreidarsson) earlier last season and then when I asked Hermann about it, he said he didn’t know anything about it.

‘I am pretty sure if I bothered to ask that question to Aaron he would probably give the same answer.’

Meanwhile, former Pompey keeper Darryl Flahavan has joined Bournemouth.

The 32-year-old was at Fratton Park last season but failed to make a single first-team appearance.

He has signed a 12-month deal with the Cherries.