Portsmouth boss reveals wantaway Conor Chaplin still attracting interest

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Kenny Jackett has revealed interest remains in Conor Chaplin as the striker’s Pompey future reaches crunch time.

The wantaway 21-year-old asked to be left out of Saturday’s trip to Doncaster on account of not being in the ‘right frame of mind’.

Conor Chaplin. Picture: Joe Pepler

Conor Chaplin. Picture: Joe Pepler

In his absence, the Blues registered a goalless draw at the Keepmoat Stadium, dropping them into third spot.

Chaplin’s actions have prompted criticism from some of the Fratton faithful as he seeks a loan move before Friday’s deadline.

The marksman has featured for just 24 minutes this season and has become disillusioned with first-team opportunities with the Blues.

Coventry remains his first choice – and the feeling is mutual.

Jackett said: ‘There is interest in Conor. There is always interest in centre-forwards and there has been interest in him, obviously.

‘But similarly there is nothing changed and if you are saying to me right now who we have got to come in, well we are not imminently going to sign someone.

‘We are waiting for this week, maybe something will open up for us because generally, obviously, there is a lot of movement in the last week and we will see.

‘If we can strengthen we will and, similarly, we are not going to weaken our squad at this stage.’

Chaplin has become increasingly frustrated at the failure to secure a move away from Fratton Park this summer, with his heart set on long-time admirers Coventry.

The striker approached Jackett at the end of last week and asked not to be considered for the Keepmoat Stadium fixture.

As a consequence, he remained on the south coast and, on Saturday morning, trained with Adam May and Danny Rose.

Jackett added: ‘In his own words, Conor didn’t feel that this weekend he was in the right frame of mind.

‘Possibly that was him thinking of his team-mates.

‘I have some sympathy with his situation, but similarly there is no change going into the last week.

‘If we find a replacement then fine, we’ll contact the clubs that have made enquiries.

‘If we don’t get a replacement nothing changes.

‘All players, not just Conor, make their own decisions on what they do and as a manager you react off that.

‘I understand that he is frustrated and he’s very much a team player who would want to be able to give everything for the lads and focus 100 per cent.

‘I reiterate, there is going to be no change in stance.’