Onus on Wallace in contract talks

Jed Wallace. Picture: Joe Pepler
Jed Wallace. Picture: Joe Pepler
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ANDY AWFORD told Jed Wallace the ball is in his court over his Pompey future.

The Blues have made another offer to the midfielder whose contract comes to a close next month.

But Awford believes his strong relationship with the 20-year-old could tempt him to stay at Fratton Park.

Pompey have made regular offers to Wallace throughout the last year of his contract.

They have now tabled another deal which is expected to put him among the top earners at the club.

Wallace attracted interest from the likes of Peterborough last season, with Wolves and Leeds also said to be keen.

They would have to pay a fee decided at tribunal for a player who finished last season as Pompey’s top scorer, has 71 senior appearances under his belt and has picked up England under-19 plaudits.

Awford stated it’s now over to the player to decide the way forward.

He said: ‘We’ve made Jed an offer and it’s in Jed’s court.

‘I met Jed last week but I’ve met every player. Jed was no different to any of them.

‘When I spoke to Jed it wasn’t to talk to him about his contract. It was to talk to him about football.

‘That’s the same with all of the players.

‘Obviously, the ones I released were a bit different.

‘There wasn’t much to talk about after that.

‘But the ones who could remain and could be here next season, and the ones who definitely are, we had a football conversation.

‘We spoke about the club, where we are going and their part in it.

‘Jed was no different but I’ve been talking to him.’

Awford has played a major role in Wallace’s development since he arrived at Pompey at the start of 2012.

Former boss Steve Cotterill and the current hot-seat holder both worked on bringing the player in from non-league Lewes.

Awford then had a close relationship with the player as he came through his Academy ranks.

He feels their good understanding could play a role in Wallace deciding to stay put with Pompey.

Awford said: ‘I’ve got a great relationship with Jed.

‘I played a big part in him coming to us as a 16-year-old in the first place, when we took him from Lewes.

‘Me and Steve put that deal together and got that over the line, which was great. It’s been a sound investment.

‘I’m pleased his relationship with me is very good.

‘He knows me and I know him. He knows what makes me tick and I know what makes him tick.

‘He knows how I want him to play and what I expect of him.

‘Maybe that could work to our advantage.

‘But Jed will do what is right for Jed – and rightly so.

‘I’m hoping what he thinks is right for him is to commit to Portsmouth Football Club.

‘If he does that I will be delighted.’