Portsmouth boss has say after threat of legal action against club from former Charlton Athletic and West Ham United midfielder
Danny Cowley insisted Jay Mingi played with an injury after being ‘desperate to impress to earn a contract’ following his threat of legal action against Pompey.
And the Blues boss revealed talks are continuing with the ‘perplexed’ 20-year-old over a deal at Fratton Park, despite him claiming breach of contract against the club.
Cowley has given his response to developments this week, surrounding the former West Ham man’s time with Pompey after his release from League One Charlton Athletic.
Mingi’s solicitors wrote to the club on September 9 stating a contract had been signed, but after playing when complaining of a groin injury he picked up a grade 2 hip-flexor tear.
They then say that after being deemed fit to return, he was told a contract was never signed and he could find a new club.
The letter, seen by The News, also asserts Mingi wants £3,500 in back pay relating to the pre-season game with Bristol City, and for the club to register him with the EFL - effectively agreeing the contract’s existence.
Cowley has now given his side of the story, but admitted he’s been left confused by the recent developments.
He said: ‘Jay’s a boy who’s come in and did really, really well in pre-season.
‘Unfortunately, he picked up an injury at the worst possible time.
‘He’d probably been just too honest really and was so desperate to impress to earn a contract, and trained and played when he probably shouldn’t have.
‘I think as a consequence we got to a stage where we were about to offer him a contract, he failed the medical.
‘We then looked after his rehab, which was the right thing to do.
‘We tried to develop his fitness and we’re still in talks with him as far as I know, so I don’t quite understand where this has come from, if I’m honest.’
Mingi was seen as a player of potential who could come in this summer, and join a group of three or four young players Cowley could work on developing.
The events of recent days appeared to make the likelihood of joining the likes of Jayden Reid and Liam Vincent as young hopefuls for Pompey more unlikely.
Cowley confirmed, however, he has remained in contact with Mingi and spoken with the Londoner a number of times following the events of the past week.
He added: ‘I’ve spoken to Jay maybe two or three times this week, so I know from speaking to him he’s a bit perplexed over where it’s come from as well.’
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