Nathan Thompson’s decision to shelve contract talks with Pompey is a ‘massive surprise’.
That’s the verdict of News writer Will Rooney, who is shocked the player isn’t ‘jumping at the chance to commit his future to the club’.
On Thursday, The News revealed that the 28-year-old had cancelled discussions over a new deal until the summer – despite indicating a preference to remain at Fratton Park
The former Swindon man’s current contract runs out at the end of June, leaving him free to seek a move elsewhere and end his association with the club.
It’s not clear whether the right-back has other options available to him, or whether he wants to see where the Blues will end up at the end of the season.
Regardless, Rooney believes the decision has rightly taken a lot of people by surprise.
Speaking in the latest edition of Pompey Talk, the News man said: ‘It’s a massive surprise.
‘When I saw it, I was a little bit taken back by it because it was only a couple of months ago that I was speaking to Nathan and when I asked him about his contract situation he said he wanted to stay at this club, him and his wife had fallen in love with the area and he’d just become a new dad.
‘So it seemed like he did want to stay.
‘He moved to Pompey from Swindon because he couldn’t progress any further with Swindon, he’d just been relegated with them, and he was joining a Pompey team on an upward curve – last season just missing out on the play-offs, and this season enjoying a promotion push.
‘So for Kenny Jackett to come out and reveal that about Thompson, a lot of fans will be just as surprised as I am.
‘He’s been superb during his one-and-a-half seasons at Pompey, you can always rely on him at right-back, he’s Mr Reliable, he plays with his heart on his sleeve. I’m just surprised that he’s not jumping at the chance to commit his future to the club.
‘He’s keeping his options open, but in terms of where he is at the minute, will a Championship club come in for him?
‘If Pompey don’t go up this season, can he get better than Pompey?
‘You’ll have maybe Barnsley going up, Luton, or Sunderland, will he want to move to another club in League One?
‘Probably not given how close he is to Swindon.
‘So it’s an interesting one.
‘It will be interesting to see what happened on that front.’
Rooney added that regardless of Thompson's stance, Jackett will already be identifying possible replacements.
‘If they haven’t done that I’d be very surprised,’ he said.
‘Kenny Jackett is so diligent and plans so far in advance.
‘I mean, they probably already have their targets they want already earmarked for the summer.
‘They go on the theory of working two transfer windows in advance.’