Mansfield Town boss Nigel Clough fumes at Portsmouth skipper's agent after dramatic 11th-hour switch to Wigan Athletic

Nigel Clough has blasted Tom Naylor’s agent for the handling of his Pompey exit.

Saturday, 12th June 2021, 11:08 am

The Mansfield boss was fuming with Naylor’s agent, Jake Speight, for orchestrating an 11th-hour move to Wigan for the Blues captain.

Naylor’s three-year stay at Fratton Park came to a close yesterday after he failed to agree new terms, after being offered a one-year deal.

League Two side put a three-year agreement on the table for the 29-year-old and he was having a medical with the Stags, when League One Wigan came in at the last minute with a better financial offer over the same period.

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That led to Naylor linking up with Leam Richardson at the DW Stadium and Clough being furious at what had unfolded.

He told Mansfield Town’s Twitter account: ‘It’s frustrating to say the least and disappointing.

‘Tom actually came in for his medical and it was at the stage where everything was agreed.

‘Unbeknown to Tom or anyone else his agent was still negotiating with another club behind everybody’s back - even when everything was agreed.

Nigel Clough. Photo by Charlotte Tattersall/Getty Images

‘It’s about different standards of behaviour.

‘When we thought Tom might be available, we knew he was out of contract and his personal circumstances gave us a chance.

‘His agent is an ex-Stags player as well, so hopefully he’ll be keen on coming here.

‘We were very surprised. One of the first conversations with (CEO) David (Sharpe) had with him (the agent), one of the first things he said was he didn’t want him coming here, which was surprising from the agent.

‘Actually, that was the second thing he said, the first thing he asked how much he was getting out of the deal.

‘It was very disappointing. It’s not that it happens, it’s how it happens and the behaviour.’

Clough believes Naylor was left embarrassed by the sequence of events and how they unfolded, and feels what took place reflects badly on agents in the football industry.

He said: ‘In sharp contrast, we dealt with (striker) Danny Johnson’s two agents. They were disappointed when we told them what happens because it reflects badly on them.

‘The vast majority of agents we deal with are good and honourable.

‘They have a principle that once you agree a deal there’s no going back.

‘It reflects badly on the whole business.

‘I feel sorry for Tom because he was happy, medical and all of a sudden he’s presented with a bigger financial offer at the last minute.

‘He phoned and explained and was a little bit embarrassed about it.

‘You can understand though, because he’s got a baby on the way and he’s nearly 30 years’ old and has to make difficult decisions.

‘But as far as we were concerned the deal was done.’

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