Portsmouth expecting recruitment surge as they prepare to announce double deal

Mark Catlin is expecting a flurry of transfer activity this week as Pompey get set to announce a double deal.

Monday, 3rd August 2020, 12:39 pm
Updated Monday, 3rd August 2020, 1:07 pm

The Blues are ready to get their summer recruitment up and running with moves for Sean Raggett and Lee Brown imminent in what could be a busy period.

And Catlin believes their place in Jackett’s squad next term will help give the continuity Kenny Jackett’s options were missing in a slow start last season.

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Brown will follow suit with new terms agreed to give Jackett a left-back option for the new term.

There’s an urgency to complete deals before the EFL vote this week on the salary cap this week, with players signed before then handed a value of £1,300 per week.

Catlin believes there will be some flexibility on that deadline, but still anticipates business accelerating.

He said: ‘There’s a few essential key positions we need to get tied up before the salary cap. We will be working hard to achieve those signings.

Pompey chief executive Mark Catlin. Picture: Joe Pepler

‘We don’t talk about players individually, but it’s fair to say we’ve learnt from last year when we lost Matt Clarke and Jamal Lowe.

‘They and a few others left and suddenly the starting XI was completely different from the season before.

‘It was really 10-15 games before we really started to get going because of those changes.

‘So we’re really looking for a level of consistency this year.

‘It’s out there we’re talking to Lee and Sean and hopefully we’ll get something done and maybe a few others before the salary cap comes in.

‘But there’s still no rush because even under the salary cap and its rules there’s flexibility to sign players post-salary cap as well.

‘The proposed cap is at a hard limit of 22 players. We’ve got 18 at the moment but one of those is under 21 in Haji (Mnoga).

‘So there is space for five players - and it would be nice to get two or three of those done this week, so then we have the flexibility to get another two or three in over what will, I believe, be post-salary cap rules.’

Catlin gave an insight into what has been a ‘wait and see’ climate in the market for recruitment with so much uncertainty created by both the salary cap and precarious finances at clubs through the coronanvirus pandemic.

He added: ‘We’re speaking to a number of players and agents - and have been since the end of the season.

‘At a lot of clubs, agencies and with players there’s very much a wait and see pattern developing at the moment due to the impending salary cap vote.

‘There’s still a lot of uncertainty over whether fans will be allowed back and when, so that mixes in with the current fluidity there is not just in football but business generally.

‘The EFL changing the date from June 30 to the day of the vote to sign players - and that’s still being heavily debated - it’s difficult to commit to over-inflated prices in anticipation of the salary cap coming in.

‘A lot of clubs are in the same position but we will do what we can this week.’

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