D-day for out-of-contract eight - how each of their Portsmouth situations stand ahead of tonight's deadline

It's the day that Pompey's out of contract players will finally know their fate - if they haven't already been told.

Tuesday, 23rd June 2020, 8:00 am
Updated Tuesday, 23rd June 2020, 8:10 am

A change in EFL regulations means clubs have until 11.59pm to offer fresh contract to those whose deals expire at the end of the month – or release them.

If not, then rival sides can contact players from tomorrow. Under previous rules, they were able to approach these players after the third Saturday in May.

Short-term contracts can be agreed to keep players for the remainder of the 2019-20 season, with the Blues' potentially ending on July 13 should they reach the League One play-off final.

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If a player leaves a club and agrees to sign for another, they will not be eligible for any fixtures until the 2020-21 season begins.

Kenny Jackett's men currently have eight who are out of contract in a week's time.

While many are expected to pen short-term deals, we’ve taken a look at what the future might hold for them beyond the end of the campaign.

Lee Brown


But now Brown's situation is looking a little more precarious heading into the summer.

The left-back enjoyed a solid maiden season at Fratton Park following his arrival from Bristol Rovers in 2018, before he was hampered by an Achillies problem earlier this term that forced him to undergo an operation.

As a result, Steve Seddon was recruited in the January transfer window and Brown was unable to win back his starting berth when he regained full fitness.

The ex-QPR trainee has always been held in high regard by Kenny Jackett, who values Brown’s leadership both on the pitch and in the dressing room.

However, given the uncertain financial climate, the Pompey boss now has to weigh up Brown's wages compared to what he would add to the team going forward before coming to a decision.

Brown started Sunday's friendly at Brentford and at least a short-term deal will be agreed.

Christian Burgess

The player that fans undoubtedly want to see stay the most – although everything is pointing towards the opposite.

Pompey have been in discussions with the popular centre-half since January, yet terms have been able to be reached.

With Burgess linked to Belgium second-tier side Union Saint-Gilloise, it’s looking more and more likely he will depart at the season's end.

Still, the ex-Peterborough man's showing no signs of downing tools. He’s featured in both friendlies and continues to train with Pompey as he aims to sign off on a high.

Nevertheless, it very much depends on whether Union will be comfortable with Burgess being involved in the play-offs given the risk of injury.

Matt Casey

The towering centre-back has already been informed he won't have his contract renewed, despite the club holding the option for an additional year.

After an encouraging first professional season last term, Casey hasn't quite progressed how Pompey would have liked.

The Botley defender was sent back prematurely from a loan spell from the Hawks before moved further down the non-league pyramid to join Bognor after the new year.

Brandon Haunstrup

The Waterlooville lad's situation is indeed an interesting one, with Pompey in discussions about extending his stay.

The left-back has been firmly out of favour since Steve Seddon's arrival, with Lee Brown being selected on the bench instead.

Despite making his debut in September 2015, Haunstrup has only made 57 appearances in total for his boyhood club.

Nineteen of those outings have been this term, with seven games in a right-back role.

Aged 24, Haunstrup will feel it's time he started playing regular football, rather than continue in a support-act role.

He's had plenty of false dawns at PO4 and may not want to risk another should he remain on the south coast.

Given it's no time to be a free agent this summer, however, the security of a deal at Pompey – coupled with a promise of more minutes – could see him remain.

Regardless, a short-term deal to finish this term is highly likely.

Oli Hawkins

The striker is another whose future could go either way beyond a short-term deal.

Hawkins’ height is an option like no other in Pompey’s squad and is a useful attribute to have.

It’s worth remembering that the Blues did nearly yield promotion with the ex-Dagenham man leading the line last term, before he slipped behind Ellis Harrison and John Marquis in the pecking order this campaign.

Overall, it’s been a stuttering year for Hawkins. Injuries and switching between striking and defensive roles have meant he’s never been able to build any sort of momentum.

With Kevin Nisbet a target for Pompey, it suggests that Jackett is preparing for life without the former Hemel Hempstead man.

Adam May

The academy graduate’s time at the Blues is nearing a closure.

Kenny Jackett has revealed May won’t be offered fresh terms and isn’t training with Pompey going into the play-offs.

It’s been a season of disappointment for the midfielder, having been reduced to a bit-part role on loan at Swindon before the Covid-19 crisis curtailed the National League campaign after joining Boreham Wood in February.

It’s not beyond the realms of possibility May will pen a short-term deal, either, with Boreham Wood to play in the National League play-offs.

Luke McGee

The keeper is another who’s been told he won’t be getting a new deal.

In truth, it’s unlikely McGee would have signed it anyway even if an offer had been tabled.

The ex-Spurs man hasn't featured for Pompey since December 2018, having fallen behind Alex Bass and Craig MacGillivray in the goalkeeing department.

Aged 24, McGee will be looking for a side that can offer him regular football once again, after only making two appearances on loan at Bradford following his January arrival.

Brett Pitman

It’s safe to say the striker will be heading for pastures new this summer.

While Pompey have yet to confirm Pitman will leave the club, the fact he's training away for the club’s Hilsea base heading into a play-off campaign underlines he doesn’t have a future.

The ex-Bournemouth marksman bagged 41 goals in 99 outings since arriving from Ipswich in July 2017.

Yet this campaign he’s slowly but surely fallen out of Kenny Jackett's plans, having been stripped of the captaincy in September.

Nevertheless, Pitman has declared he’s not ready to hang his boots up just yet and plans on playing for a few more years.