DETAILED: Danny Cowley reveals key factor which is set to see Portsmouth player of the season Craig MacGillivray depart

Pompey would need to accommodate a ‘real increase’ in Craig MacGillivray’s wages to keep him at Fratton Park.

Wednesday, 19th May 2021, 4:00 pm

The Blues head coach hinted the money they would have needed to pay to keep MacGillivray next term would be better utilised elsewhere, as he carries out a overhaul of the playing staff.

Pompey, of course, are operating against a backdrop of haemorrhaging £700,000 a month through the Covid pandemic.

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Cowley has indicated that is impacting what the Blues can offer their out-of-contract players, who they remain in negotiations with after the retained list was announced on Saturday.

That is officially the case with MacGillivray, who is out of contract with the club holding an option to extend the agreement.

That will not be taken up, however, and the reality is the Blues’ reigning player of the season is likely to be playing away from PO4 in the 2021-22 campaign.

Cowley said: ‘Craig’s had a really consistent season and thoroughly deserved the player of the season award he achieved.

Craig MacGillivray

‘He’s a very good League On goalkeeper.

‘We have to look at the whole picture, and there’s many variables with Craig.

‘There was an option with a real increase in salary.

‘We have to make sure the money we do have available, we spend wisely across the whole squad.

‘They are just the intelligent decisions we are trying to make.

‘Like we stated, we are still in talks with Craig.

‘If we can do something we will, but, we have nothing but respect for Craig, as a person and a goalkeeper.’

An exit for MacGillivray will leave Alex Bass with a clear run at establishing himself as Pompey’s first-choice keeper next season.

But with young back-up keeper Taylor Seymour departing, Cowley will be looking at bringing in two next additions in that area of the pitch.

If Bass is seen as ready to become first choice, they could well be emerging talents with eyes currently on prospects who could come into the club.

West Brom teenager Griffiths is someone who falls into that category.

Cowley has no doubt how big a player a fit-again Bass could be for Pompey, however.

He said: ‘We also have Alex Bass who’s a young keeper, who had a breakthrough season in 2019-20.

‘He had a really difficult 20-21 due to injury, but we certainly see him as a huge asset.’

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