Portsmouth, Walsall and Gillingham-linked non-league striker makes Dorking pledge as manager slaps 'Jamie Vardy-esque' valuation on his star man

Former Pompey youngster Alfie Rutherford isn’t hankering for a Pompey return or any other move for that matter this summer.

By Mark McMahon
Tuesday, 5th July 2022, 5:57 pm

And even if he was, Dorking Wanderers boss Marc White said it would take a ‘Jamie Vardy-esque offer’ to tempt him to sell his star front man.

Rutherford saw himself linked with a return to Fratton Park over the weekend following his 32-goal haul last season.

Gillingham, Walsall and Chesterfield have also been credited with an interest in the 23-year-old.

Dorking striker Alfie Rutherford Picture: Dave Haines

He holds the former Moneyfields and Hawks forward in high regard but admitted he wasn’t pursuing a move for non-league man.

Now Rutherford has also dismissed the rumours so he can look forward to spearheading Dorking’s National League challenge this season.

Speaking to SurreyLive, he said: ‘I want to be at Dorking Wanderers. I love playing for this club.

‘I want to focus on starting the season well at Wanderers, picking up where I left off last year.

‘I love the club, I love the fans and I love the gaffer and I have absolutely no intention of leaving Dorking Wanderers.

‘Everything the gaffer has done for me since I joined the club has been unbelievable; he’s a top man.

‘I’m really enjoying my football at Dorking and with the way we play, I get a lot of chances to score a lot of goals.

‘It’s nice that people think I can play at a higher level but I want to do that with Dorking Wanderers.

‘I want to focus on this club and carrying on the form I was in last season. I’ve no plans to go anywhere.’

Rutherford’s impressive goal return last term saw Dorking promoted to the National League for their first time in their history.

That saw a figure of £200,000 emerge as the fee that would tempt the Meadowbank side to part ways with the front man who has two years left on his existing contract.

Yet it’s a sum that White has mocked.

Indeed, comparing Rutherford’s promise to that of Jamie Vardy, when he made the step up from non-league football to the Championship with Leicester in 2012, he said only a similar seven-figure fee would tempt him to part ways with the Portsmouth-based roofer.

White told SurreyLive: ‘£200,000? It would have to be a Jamie Vardy-esque offer, I’m talking in and around seven figures, to be of interest.

‘Alfie’s current contract will take him into his fifth season with the club and he’s a massive part of our plans for the future.

‘At Dorking Wanderers he is at one of the most progressive clubs in the country and Alfie is well aware of this.

‘Unfortunately, he has been subject to a lot of rumours in recent weeks which is distracting to him, me and the club in general.

‘We wouldn’t stand in the way of a player who was offered a move of huge significance, but it would take a very, very good offer for either Alfie or the club to be interested. Several leagues above where we are at least.’