Bristol Rovers defender reveals promotion-chasing League One side are keen after Portsmouth prioritise landing centre-back

Bristol Rovers defender Tom Lockyer revealed League One sides who will be vying for promotion next season are chasing his signature.

Sunday, 19th May 2019, 1:50 pm
Bristol Rovers' Tom Lockyer, left, with Jamal Lowe. Photo by Robin Jones/Digital South.

Championship outfits are also in the race to land the highly-touted talent as he leaves Pompey’s League One rivals.

Lockyer revealed he now has to weigh up whether to opt for a campaign bidding for third-tier glory or a move to a higher level, where the prospect of success will diminish.

The 24-year-old will be a free agent after ending an eight-year association with the Gas, where he’s made 238 appearances.

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Pompey look certain to be searching for a successor to Matt Clarke this summer, with a host of sides keen on landing the centre-back.

Kenny Jackett has made is clear he’s looking to strengthen in that area regardless of what happens to Clarke.

Lockyer certainly fits the bill, falling into the right age bracket and available without paying a transfer fee.

The Welsh international explained he’s currently undecided on who his next club will be.

He told BBC Radio Bristol: ‘Everyone keeps asking me, “where are you signing then?” and I honestly don't know.

‘They keep saying, “why are you lying” and it's doing my head in because I wish I knew and I wish could tell you.

‘But it's about weighing things up at the minute, it's too easy to rush into things and get sucked in by certain aspects of different clubs.

‘Realistically there are four Championship teams who are willing to put something on the table and there's a few other League One teams.’

Lockyer explained he's discussed his future with a number of people, including former Bristol Rovers striker Marcus Stewart.

Stewart, who was coveted by Harry Redknapp ahead of Pompey's Championship-title-winning season in 2002-03 explained it's the successes rather than level played at which will linger.

Lockyer added: 'I've had a few conversations with Marcus Stewart and old managers and players, and kind of said, “what would you do in my situation?” because I've never been here before.

‘It's always just been I'm coming back to Cribbs (Bristol Rovers’ training ground)  in the summer and cracking on with pre-season with everyone I know.

‘(I’m) just out there trying to look for a bit of advice at the minute because people in the game, they all talk, and they all have different experiences to share with you.

‘The conversation I had with Marcus, I said to him, “if you were in my position and you had some lower-half Championship teams coming in for you and it could be a struggle of a season and they're not guaranteed to be up there, or you've got the top-half of League One teams who are saying, look we're going to get promoted, what would you do?”

‘He said to me, personally, looking back on my career I always remember the promotions I've had, they are what stick out for me so if I was you I'd be doing that. That did hit hard.

‘But then I've had other people said get yourself in the Champ and go and get 40 Championship games under your belt and see where that takes you.

‘I really don't know. I'm going to sit down with my agent at the end of this month and we'll go from there.’