‘Protect assets’: Portsmouth's plan to ward off vultures circling for title-winning heroes

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John Mousinho is adamant Pompey are in a strong position to retain their Championship heroes.

And the Blues boss is confident his club are ‘well protected’, as they look to secure the futures of their prime assets.

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Pompey are reportedly close to tying down the future of defender Conor Shaughnessy, after an impressive maiden campaign at Fratton Park.

Chief executive Andy Cullen told The News earlier this month steps are being taken to ensure the futures of key players are protected, with the likes of Shaughnessy, Kusini Yengi and Colby Bishop about to enter the final years of their existing agreements.

The News understands there has been interest in Pompey’s players, after a hugely successful campaign.

But Mousinho is confident the right steps have been put in place to ensure key squad members are secured for the long term.

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He said: ‘We feel like we’re in a good position with that (protecting assets). A lot of the business we did last summer put us in a good position with that.

‘If there’s anything we need to protect in term of assets and looking at new contracts, it will be something going on with the football club, agents, Rich (Hughes) and everyone at board level.

‘Nothing will be done that’s a surprise to me, but it’s really for me a quick conversation: “what do you think about extending this player’s contract?”.

‘It will either be a yes or a no, and then the details are taken care of by the club.

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‘But, yes, the answer is the club are well aware the decent performances of the squad mean we need to protect assets.’

Pompey tend to exert an element of control over signings, by putting 12-month options in their favour into contracts when deals are done.

That then gives them the choice over whether to extend stays by another year when agreements come to a close.

There has to be constant vigilance, however, to ensure options aren’t taken up for key men - and they then leave for free a year on.

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Mousinho said: ‘It always changes and we take a lot of different considerations into account (when looking at extensions).

‘Age comes into in, in terms of where they players are in their careers. We look at performance, we look at the market for potential players and everything in between.

‘We do feel we’re well protected and not in imminent danger of losing any players we want to keep at the club.

'We feel we‘re in a very good position, if we had interest from other clubs in our players.’

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