Danny Cowley explains why Portsmouth contract talks are on ice - with influential ex-Burton, Millwall and Rotherham players' deals expiring
Danny Cowley has revealed talks with the soon-to-be out-of-contract members of his squad are on hold until after the January transfer window.
The Blues now have a total of eight senior players whose permanent deals expire in the summer – a figure that includes first-team regulars such as Sean Raggett, Marcus Harness, Lee Brown and John Marquis.
Not all of them will be offered new terms to remain at Fratton Park beyond this season, with talks already held with those who are free to leave this month.
Nevertheless, the Pompey head coach reaffirmed his immediate focus is solely on bringing new additions to the club this month – while overseeing some high-profile departures.
High-earners Ellis Harrison (permanent) and Paul Downing (loan) have already left this month – players whose deal were set to expire in June.
Norwich loanee Gassan Ahadme has also left, while Arsenal’s Miguel Azeez set to follow suit.
However, the south coast outfit are keen to retain the services of top-scorer Harness as he enters the final six months of his deal.
The News revealed Pompey have already rebuffed numerous Championship enquiries for his signature, with the club intending to trigger the 12-month option they have on the former Burton man.
That will firm up the Blues’ position with Harness, who is likely to attract more attention in the summer.
But for team-mates such as Brown and Raggett, they’ll have to bide their time to open talks with their boss.
Cowley told The News: I think the major focus for us at the moment is on potential departures or bringing players in.
‘We are aware we have a number of players out of contract, but those conversations will probably begin once this window closes.
‘That’s normally how it works because, as everyone will respect, we only have one pair of hands and January is a pretty busy time.’
Other senior players whose contracts expire at the end of the season are Sean Williams, Louis Thompson, Michael Jacobs and Reeco Hackett.
Summer triallists Jayden Reid and Jay Mingi are also on one-year deals, while, Gavin Bazunu, Mahlon Romeo and George Hirst are on season-long loans.
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