Danny Cowley's message to Portsmouth out-of-contract quartet as he seeks rapid recruitment this summer

Danny Cowley has warned that Pompey cannot afford to wait around for existing players to decide whether to sign fresh contracts.

Monday, 17th May 2021, 7:00 pm
Updated Monday, 17th May 2021, 7:07 pm

And he wants his new-look Blues squad completed by Monday, June 28 – in time for pre-season training.

Tom Naylor, Ryan Williams, Ben Close and Jack Whatmough have been tabled with new deals since the season ended.

In addition, Cowley has opted not to take up Craig MacGillivray’s option, but, officially, the club haven’t announced his exit.

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Regardless, Cowley wants swift responses from those he intends to keep during what promises to be a busy summer of recruitment ahead.

He told The News: ‘There are some initial deadlines which have been put into place and we would like to work towards them.

‘Always what you are trying to do as a club is create clarity, so that’s why you put deadlines in place.

Jack Whatmough is among four Pompey players who have been offered new deals. Picture: Joe Pepler

‘I don’t think it would be intelligent for me to give too much away in the negotiations because that might alert other clubs. I will be discreet with that, if you don’t mind.

‘The market is really different in May. If you are Pompey’s manager and speaking with agents and players in May, then the price is a lot higher than maybe in June and certainly in July.

‘So we’ve just got to make sure that we get the very best value now. We obviously have a list of targets for each position that we think can be successful for Portsmouth Football Club, can play in our game idea and our game model.

‘Naturally I would like to do all of my business somewhere before May 31, so I can put my feet up and enjoy June.

‘But, ultimately, I don’t anticipate that happening. This is going to be a really long summer involving us having to work really, really hard to get on the right side of it and get the players we want.

‘Ideally that will be by Monday, June 28. We would love to have a pre-season with the whole squad available.’

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Although Cowley is eager to finalise his playing numbers for the start of pre-season, he admits he is prepared to wait.

And the need to enter the loan market could well see some late arrivals as the Blues near their League One kick-off.

He added: ‘We will use the loan market, we may have to wait on certain players that are at other clubs or currently out of our financial capabilities.

‘If we do that, then you have to weigh up how many players you need to be able to get your game idea across in pre-season.

‘Can we just hold off on one or two and bring them in at a later point, then fast track them in the process when they arrive in the building?

‘It’s just looking for that balance.’

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