Luton boss Nathan Jones denies rift with Joe Morrell ahead of midfielder's move to Portsmouth

Nathan Jones has denied Joe Morrell’s Pompey switch was the consequence of a falling out.

Friday, 13th August 2021, 12:00 pm

Instead, the Luton boss said the duo had a ‘really good relationship’ during their time together at Kenilworth Road and that the midfielder’s desire for more regular minutes was a key factor in his departure,

Jones also confirmed the Hatters turned down a higher bid for the Wales international – believed to be from Ipswich – to help facilitate Morrell’s move to Fratton Park.

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He’s in the frame to debut for Pompey tomorrow, when Danny Cowley’s side take on Crewe at Fratton Park (3pm).

And if he does feature, it will be Morrell’s first league game since February 27, when he was taken off at half-time in Luton’s 3-2 win against Sheffield Wednesday.

That was one of only 11 appearances he made for the Championship outfit, with the players’ withdrawal that day leading to speculation on social media of a rift.

Yet Jones has dispelled that theory as he thanked Morrell for his contribution during a brief spell at Kenilworth Road.

Luton manager Nathan Jones. Picture: Harriet Lander/Getty Images

He told Luton Today: ‘I hear quite a lot people saying that, (but) there’s no fall out.

‘Me and Joe have a really good relationship. The trouble was, Joe wasn’t playing and wasn’t going to get enough minutes in our team.

‘He wants to play minutes, we had offers for him.

‘We agreed and honoured the deal with Portsmouth. If we’d wanted more money, we could have, but no problem whatsoever.

New Pompey midfielder Joe Morrell Picture: Valerio Pennicino/Getty Images

‘Joe wanted to play football and I couldn’t guarantee that Joe would get enough football here, because of what we had. Last year was the same.

‘Joe did quite well for us, but we had better midfield players at the time in the building and that’s why he didn’t play.

‘This year, I couldn’t guarantee that he was going to play enough minutes for him to be satisfied.

‘He has an international career, his own career to think about, so the only thing, the logical thing to do was to sell him and that’s what we did.

‘(It’s an) amicable parting, no problem whatsoever.

‘We thank Joe. He was an excellent trainer, a great lad to have around, no problem.’