Mark Catlin: In-demand Rasmus Nicolaisen rejected January exit to help Portsmouth promotion ambition

Rasmus Nicolaisen has spurned interest from other clubs to see out the season with Pompey.

Wednesday, 27th January 2021, 12:04 pm

Mark Catlin revealed the Danish defender had the opportunity to scrap his Blues loan arrangement this month and seek regular football elsewhere.

Instead Nicolaisen pledged to remain – and has now passed the deadline to return to FC Midtjylland.

The 23-year-old had previously publicly admitted discontent at lack of first-team opportunities since his September arrival.

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Regardless, Catlin insisted Nicolaisen had already agreed to stay until the season’s end.

Pompey’s chief executive told The News: ‘Rasmus’ contract has gone past a certain date, so he is now with us for the rest of the season.

‘He’s settled here, he’s adapted. Fair play to him, he's got a young family and could have taken the easy life and gone somewhere closer to his home in Denmark, but made the decision he wanted to test himself and come here.

Rasmus Nicolaisen has agreed to remain at Fratton Park for the rest of the season, despite the interest of other clubs. Picture: Joe Pepler

‘Hopefully he forms part of a team that goes all the way this season.

‘There's always clubs in for good players and Rasmus definitely falls into that category, but he’s committed himself publicly and privately to Pompey.

‘Other clubs were looking at him, but he wanted to remain here.

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‘Every contract is different and we learnt a while ago that you have recall options at certain points in a month. We don’t let it go right to the final day because, if you do and get the call they are being recalled, you have no time to react.

‘So by default now, we insist on tripped dates within the January window to give us time to react.

‘Rasmus has gone past that date now and will stay for the rest of the season.’

Nicolaisen has played 13 games and scored once since his loan arrival, with Whatmough and Sean Raggett dominating the centre-half positions.

Catlin added: ‘Obviously Rasmus is a very good player, he’s just relatively unlucky that he came out and we’ve had some great clean sheets since, so struggled to get back in.

‘But that doesn’t detract from the quality in him. We have a really good squad with depth.

‘To a degree, it’s a good sign for the club that you have someone like that who can’t get in.’

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