Two key reasons why Jack Whatmough is being tipped to remain at Portsmouth and snub reported Millwall and Bristol City interest
Jack Whatmough has been tipped to extend his Pompey stay.
It’s a belief held by News writer Jordan Cross, who is of the opinion the defender wants to remain at Fratton Park – and is someone head coach Danny Cowley is willing to push the boat out to keep.
The defender’s future remains up in the air, with the 24-year-old one of 12 Blues players whose deals expire next month.
The club have already revealed that the likes of Andy Cannon, Charlie Daniels and Jordy Hiwula will not be offered new terms as a squad overhaul gets underway – exits that are set to be accompanied by Craig MacGillivray and Tom Naylor departures.
Ben Close and Ryan Williams have been offered fresh new deals on reduced terms.
Meanwhile, it is believed Whatmough has been offered a one-year deal with a second season automatically triggered if the centre-back plays a certain number of matches, believed to be around 20.
The Gosport lad, however, is not short of offers, with Championship Millwall and Bristol City credited with interest in him.
That complicates things as far as the Blues are concerned, with clubs in the second tier likely to offer more than what Pompey can offer.
Cross, however, believes Whatmough’s priority is to remain at Fratton Park.
And with Cowley apparently willing to play with his reduced budget in order to retain his services, the Pompey writer suspects the centre-back – who has suffered long-term knee injuries during his Blues career – could eventually extend his long association with the club.
Speaking in the latest episode of Pompey Talk, Cross said: ‘What I have picked up a sense of in the last week to 10 days is that Jack's first preference would be to stay.
'I can see why clubs would have an interest in Jack because a full-firing Jack Whatmough can probably do it in the Championship.
‘But he’s local, his fiancée is local, he's got a young family here, he's settled, he loves Portsmouth and he's got really strong ties.
‘It's also interesting to hear Danny Cowley say he thinks that Jack, after conversations with him, feels he has unfinished business here, which is very interesting.
‘I've picked up that same sentiment from more than a few angles.
‘The discussions are going on but you have to structure a deal that is right for everyone – right for the player and right for the club.
‘So from Pompey’s view, they're saying it should be based around appearances, to protect themselves in terms of Jack's injury record.
‘Jack would probably say: "Look, I've a full season under my belt now and don't deserve that in a contract”.
‘So there's probably that sort of toing and froing, which is where the detail lies within the contract.
‘But if I had a gun to my head right now, I'd say Jack might stay.
‘And why I say that is while Pompey do have a reduced budget, they can't pay what they have done, Ben Close and Craig MacGillivray - they didn’t take up options they couldn't pay – but I think Jack Whatmough is the one Danny Cowley really wants.
‘And because of that fact, he might just be prepared to push the boat out more for that player within the budget.’