Four months of talks and no contract signed - Portsmouth chief addresses Fratton future of reported Birmingham and West Brom target

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Andy Cullen remains upbeat over sealing Jay Mingi’s Pompey future – despite negotiations opening almost four months ago.

A fresh deal for the 22-year-old has still to be agreed as the clock ticks down on his existing contract, which expires in the summer.

Talks with Mingi’s representatives began in December, when the midfielder had established himself as a first-team regular under Danny Cowley.

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He has since been linked with Championship trio West Brom, Birmingham and Huddersfield as a free agent switch.

Subsequently, injuries and a change in manager has seen him feature just once in 22 matches – yet Pompey are still keen to retain him.

Chief executive Cullen told The News: ‘Discussions remain ongoing and we are very, very hopeful we can get an agreement with Jay.

‘He’s a player who has been extremely unfortunate with injuries, everyone can see the potential the player possesses.

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‘It’s just a shame that, over the last two years, Jay’s not had the opportunities or length of run of games which he and ourselves would have hoped for.

Andy Cullen remains hopeful that Jay Mingi will pledge his future to Pompey. Picture: Jason BrownAndy Cullen remains hopeful that Jay Mingi will pledge his future to Pompey. Picture: Jason Brown
Andy Cullen remains hopeful that Jay Mingi will pledge his future to Pompey. Picture: Jason Brown

‘Offers have been made to Jay and we’ll see where that takes us.

‘As previously documented, we made the contract offer some time ago, before his injury. As one of our younger players, we wanted to look after him and take him onto the next level.

‘John now has the opportunity to see Jay in action now following his return from injury.’

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Pompey are entitled to training compensation should Mingi opt to leave Fratton Park as a free agent.

That will cover his time at the club since signing in September 2021, following a successful trial.

This represents his breakthrough season, having made his Football League debut and totalled 26 appearances, including six League One starts.

However, at the turn of the year he damaged knee ligaments in training and has yet to return for the first-team, despite coming back from injury last month.

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He’s among 13 players out of contract this summer, yet, unlike the others, Pompey moved swiftly on Mingi due to his age and potential.

Cullen added: ‘We want to do everything properly aligned, it’s very, very difficult if you start contact discussions with one player out of contract and not another who also is.

‘We’re in a good position in terms of the number of players that are already under contract for next season and those that have options.

‘Again, when exercising those options you want to do it in a coordinated way, though.

‘We are in a really, really good place with the squad at the moment, we’ve got a great group of players that are highly motivated to do well whether the season takes us.’