Portsmouth chief Mark Catlin's defiant message as Brighton pursue Matt Clarke and Millwall target Jamal Lowe

Defiant Mark Catlin has reiterated Pompey will not be forced to part with their prize assets.

Monday, 17th June 2019, 7:00 am
Updated Monday, 17th June 2019, 10:37 am

And the chief executive is adamant any departures would be conducted entirely on the club’s terms.

The futures of Matt Clarke and Jamal Lowe continue to be clouded during a summer of escalating interest from clubs inhabiting higher divisions.

Both are under contract to Fratton Park, while Catlin insists financially neither requires to be sold.

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Checkatrade Trophy FINAL - Sunderland v Portsmouth - 31/03/19 Dressing room after the match - Portsmouth’s Chief Executive Mark Catlin

Nonetheless, Brighton’s interest in Clarke is no secret and developing into the transfer saga of Pompey’s summer.

As for Lowe, Millwall and Wigan have already been rebuffed in bids, while Burnley are reportedly now trailing the winger.

Catlin has declined to comment on potential interest in individual players within Kenny Jackett’s squad.

It’s a stance he has long held and remains in place during the ongoing Clarke and Lowe speculation.

Pompey's Jamal Lowe continues to attract interest this summer. Picture: Joe Pepler

And he is standing firm on his pledge that Pompey also don’t need to cash in on their class acts.

He said: ‘We don’t comment on any individual players and their contracts, that has not been our style.

‘We don’t have to sell anyone. I have to stress again, our transfer business isn’t reliant on any players going out and we are under zero pressure to sell.

‘The only way we will sell a player is if it fits the player and the club. If it doesn’t, if it fits one of the parties and not the other, then tough.

‘Players sign contracts with clubs, any player leaves when it is acceptable to Portsmouth Football Club.

‘We are only going to sell anyone if we feel it benefits the club in the long-term – and by that it’s about the financials and what that can do to strengthen our squad.

‘If we don’t feel a figure can strengthen our squad or improve it in any areas, then we won’t sell that player.’

Nathan Thompson and Dion Donohue represent the only Fratton Park departures so far this summer.

Their contracts expire at the month’s end, ensuring they have played their last matches for the club.

With Jackett keen to launch another promotion challenge following last term's play-off semi-final elimination, he is loath to lose both Clarke and Lowe.

Nonetheless, the lure of featuring in the Premier League or Championship is tough to resist for any in-demand player.

Pompey, however, believe they remain in control of the destinies of both Clarke and Lowe.

Owners Tornante have consistently indicated there is no necessity to cash in, with the club financially sound.

And, in the case of Lowe, the Blues possess a club option to extend his deal by another 12 months, tying him to 2021.