Rivals facing up to losing Portsmouth target linked with Sheffield Wednesday and Preston North End this summer

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Cheltenham boss Michael Duff is resigned to losing Pompey target WIll Boyle this summer.

The Robins boss admitted it looks likely his captain will be on his way from Whaddon Road, when his contract comes to a close at the end of the campaign.

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The middle of the back line is an area Pompey will likely need to improve before tackling his second full campaign at Fratton Park, however, as he targets up to six new additions.

Duff had praise for Boyle’s performances and explained a new deal is on the table for him with the Robins.

But the former Northern Ireland international feels a parting of the ways is likely to take place.

When asked if Boyle will leave Cheltenham, Duff told Gloucestershire Live: ‘Probably. We offered him a deal, he said “I'm all right for now” and I don't worry about it too much.

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‘The season finishes in a month, so we'll know then one way or the other. It's not like the contract isn't there.

Cheltenham's Will Boyle.  Picture: Pete Norton/Getty ImagesCheltenham's Will Boyle.  Picture: Pete Norton/Getty Images
Cheltenham's Will Boyle. Picture: Pete Norton/Getty Images

‘I had a conversation with him three or four weeks ago and I'll keep that between us. ‘He's the captain of the football club and I don't think people can question his attitude of application.

‘That's all we can ask, give your best when you are on the pitch. He's done that, so we have no issue with him.’

Duff acknowledged how Boyle has become a key player for Cheltenham, since arriving at the club four years from Huddersfield.

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The 26-year-old has gone on to captain the club to the League Two title and bag an impressive 24 goals from 190 appearances.

Duff added: ‘He has grown in terms of his age and experience because he was a youngish lad when I first came in and he's grown into a leader of the group.

‘That's probably his biggest development, I'd imagine. He's improved as a player, there is no doubt about that, but I don't want to single him out because there are a few who have improved.’

A message from the Editor, Mark Waldron

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