Andy Cullen with latest on Portsmouth out-of-contract trio after Sean Raggett deal boost

Andy Cullen insists Pompey remain in talks with their out-of-contract trio.

Tuesday, 31st May 2022, 1:00 pm

However, he has ruled out enforcing a deadline for Reeco Hackett, Aiden O’Brien and Michael Jacobs to settle their Fratton Park futures.

Hackett is expected to follow suit as Pompey thrash out a fresh contract rather than activating his 12-month option.

And Cullen is adamant negotiations are also continuing with popular pair O’Brien and Jacobs, who are effectively now free agents.

He told The News: ‘We are still in talks with everybody, we have the dialogue going in every single individual case.

‘The players know what the terms are, as out-of-contract players it’s entirely within their rights to determine what is right for them.

‘We would love to see each of them in a Pompey shirt next season – and that’s something which hasn’t changed from the minute we put the original deals together to them.

Reeco Hackett is expected to be the next out-of-contract Pompey player to sign a new Fratton Park deal. Picture: Joe Pepler

‘That constant dialogue is still going on and, because they are out-of-contract players, they have a prerogative to take their time to consider what it’s going to be like for them at the next stage of their careers.

‘Every deal is different and we have to be respectful that each of the players will want to carefully consider, particularly Michael and Aiden.

‘They are at a stage of their careers where they need to be absolutely certain of their futures, particularly from a footballing perspective.

‘Are they going to be regularly playing football and at this stage of their careers does everything stack up properly for them?

‘I am hugely respectful of that, that is no different from any other out-of-contract player at any other football club.’

In addition to Raggett, Pompey have also retained Marcus Harness, Louis Thompson, Jay Mingi and Jayden Reid.

But Cullen believes setting contract deadlines for the remaining three is ‘meaningless’.

He added: ‘When you put deadlines on deals it becomes meaningless.

‘There comes a point where I think both parties intuitively know when it might be time to move on.

‘If the player wasn’t to sign then you need to have other options lined up, which we will have.

‘However, it can become too late, there is only so much time you can hold on before triggering alternatives in terms of proper discussion.

‘So there comes a point where I think intuitively every party will know where they are and where that sits.

‘It comes down to patience, every deal is different.’

A message from the Editor, Mark Waldron

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