Portsmouth boss’ response to Blackburn, Cardiff and Bristol City-linked winger rejecting new Fratton Park deal

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John Mousinho has given his response to Ronan Curtis’ decision to reject a new Pompey deal.

Last week, the 27-year-old turned down the Blues’ offer in order to focus on his rehabilitation from an ACL injury – a call he revealed on Twitter.

The winger will officially become a free agent on Saturday (July 1) after failing to accept Pompey’s 12-month contract on ‘heavily reduced terms’.

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Curtis has earmarked September as his return date and will instead continue his recovery at the club’s Hilsea training base before making a decision on his future.

Speaking for the first time after the news, Mousinho said he understood the Republic of Ireland international’s decision. But he added talks would resume later in the year.

The head coach told The News: ‘Ronan and I had a chat the day after and I completely respect the decision and understand the reasons why.

‘Ronan got the news he spoke about in his (Twitter) post in terms of being ahead of schedule and I think he’s planning to get back on the grass in September and then it would be nine weeks until he’s really happy with where the knee will be. If he’s looking to be ahead of schedule that’s great news.

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‘The most important thing for us is that Ronan gets back in some capacity. We would’ve obviously loved to have seen him sign that contract, and I completely understand the reasons why, but there’s just an amicable conversation being had.

Ronan Curtis.Ronan Curtis.
Ronan Curtis.

‘You can tell from his post that he wanted to get the news out to the public and let them know what his position was. He’s still in every day doing his rehab and we’ll see where that one takes us when he gets a bit fitter later on.’

Curtis is the longest-serving player in Mousinho’s squad - having joined the Blues from Derry in 2018. He has since gone on to become Pompey’s record goalscorer in the 21st century, netting 57 goals in 226 outings.

While Mousinho was adamant he wanted to keep the winger, the head coach has admitted the decision is now out of his hands.

‘He’s got that September date,’ added Mousinho.

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‘Whether he stays at Pompey beyond that is up to him. He’s signalled his intent to come back and train hard then see what his options are at that stage and we completely respect that. We haven’t got any problems or any issues with lads who want to turn contracts down.

‘This is a slightly more unusual situation than usual because Ronan is in the building getting his rehab. Usually, with the lads who turn contracts down, you shake hands and wish them well.

‘We’re doing what we need to do in terms of his rehab and treating him properly and then we’ll see how that pans out because It’s more of Ronan’s call now than ours with him having turned that contract down.’