What Tom Naylor, Jack Whatmough and Portsmouth's other out-of-contract players have previously said on their futures

The wait goes on for Pompey’s retained list to be announced.

Thursday, 13th May 2021, 5:30 pm
Updated Thursday, 13th May 2021, 5:37 pm

The Blues are still to announce which of the out-of-contract players will be departing Fratton Park after missing out on League One promotion and who they’d like to keep.

In total, there are 11 members of the dressing room whose deals have effectively concluded.

We already know the situation with some of them.

Sign up to our Portsmouth FC newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

Already, Danny Cowley has admitted that Pompey will be activating a clause in Haji Mnoga’s contract to keep him for an extra year, while Duncan Turnbull’s exit has been confirmed after joining Las Vegas Lights on loan.

Meanwhile, Charlie Daniels and Bryn Morris are expected to depart and Jordy Hiwula may also leave having lacked regular minutes for the past two seasons at Coventry and the Blues respectively.

All eyes are very much on the six players who have featured prominently during the latest failed League One promotion push.

Tom Naylor Jack Whatmough, Andy Cannon, Ryan Williams, Craig MacGillivray and Ben Close's futures are the ones fans are intrigued to find out about.

Jack Whatmough and Craig MacGillivray are both out of contract. Picture: Joe Pepler

Cowley has been in discussions with the out-of-contract men today and that may continue into tomorrow.

All six of the aforementioned players have spoken at various stages of the season about their respective contractual situations.

Here's what they’ve previously had to say...

Tom Naylor

The skipper’s at the end of his three-year contract after joining from Burton on a free transfer in June 2018.

He admitted he does want another crack at playing Championship football, although he doesn’t want to give up his captaincy at PO4 and had hoped it was with the Blues.

Naylor said: ‘I had a meeting with the gaffer on the first day he arrived and told him I don't want to give my captaincy up. It's an honour being captain of this football club so it's one of them ones where they (Pompey) have the money and I can't force their hand.

‘I'll just keep going in every single training session and game to get the club promoted to where they belong then see what happens in the summer.

‘I'm 30 in the summer and I want to play at the highest level I can. That's every player in league football, they want to play high.

‘I want to be in the Championship, that's my aim, and with Pompey. That lies with us playing well on the pitch and getting promoted.

‘Every club is in the situation with Covid and fans not being there. We'll see what happens in the summer because I'll give my all for this club then we’ll talk whenever.’

Jack Whatmough

The Gosport defender has come through the youth ranks at Fratton Park and made his debut aged 17.

Whatmough’s regarded as Pompey’s best defender and will likely have potential suitors from the Championship.

However, after a 2-2 draw at Plymouth in November, the centre-back said he wanted to commit his future

He said: ‘If they want to talk then whenever they want to talk, I’ll listen and talk to them. I understand the situation, massively. Every single club has lost money because of a lack of revenue.

‘That is a big part of ours with the size of our fan base. We can’t have fans at games at the moment for understandable reasons.

‘I understand the club, where they are and where they’re at. But the minute they want to talk then I’m open to it.’

Whatmough’s scored two goals in 38 appearances this season.

Andy Cannon

The midfielder arrived at Pompey from Rochdale for a fee of £150,000 in January 2019.

The club do hold the option of an additional 12 months on Cannon that they can take up should they wish.

Following the Blues’ 3-1 win at Charlton, Cann – who netted twice in 49 games this term – told how he’s settled down on the south coast.

He said: Yes, definitely (I'd like to extend my deal). I love it down here, I love playing here and I love the atmosphere when the fans are in.

You don't get better in League One for sure. I've settled down here. I see it as a second home now. I really enjoy it and the people are great.‘We will just have to see what happens in terms of things.

‘Hopefully, it comes around and we can sort something.’

Craig MacGillivray

The affable keeper was handed his first chance of regular first-team football at Pompey, having been back-up at Walsall and Shrewsbury.

MacGillivray, who played in every league game in League One this term and was named The News/ Sports Mail Player of the Season, has spoken about his love for the club and the area.

The Scot firmly wants to extend his three-year stay.

After Sunday’s defeat to Accrington, he said: ‘Absolutely I want to stay, I love it here. I love the area, I love playing for this football club. It has been a shame we’ve not had the fans back in the stadium because there’s no better feeling.

‘You come out of that tunnel and the roar from the supporters, there’s no feeling like it. It has been a real shame that we’ve not had them here.

‘I love the area, I love playing for this football club. I know some people may say it, but I genuinely mean it – every time I put my shirt on it is an absolute honour for me to wear it.

‘Hopefully for me – and the other lads in the team – we soon get to know what’s what going forward.’

Ryan Williams

The winger returned to the south coast in the summer of 2019 having been brought to Pompey from Australia as a teenager.

Williams bagged five goals in 49 games this term and his selfless attitude impressed Danny Cowley.

The former Rotherham man has told the head coach he wants to sign fresh terms.

‘I love it here and love the club,’ said Williams after the loss to Accrington.

‘This was the first place I came when I arrived in England and, even when I was away at other clubs, I had a soft spot for Pompey.

‘Here’s where I want to be and I’ve told the manager that. It’s in the club’s hands and for me it’s just a waiting game.

‘I can understand where the club are in terms of seeing what league we are in – and I understand the budget situation.

‘The club have been amazing through the virus situation in terms of looking after us. I’m happy to wait if it helps the club out.’

Ben Close

The midfielder is Pompey through and through having grown up in Southsea.

The Blues hold the option of an additional year for Close, having last extended his stay in April 2019.

Close has reignited his Fratton career since Danny Cowley took charge and is keen to continue learning under the ex-Lincoln chief.

‘I’d love to stay, I think the head coach is excellent, Nicky as well,’ he said after the Accrington reverse.

‘I’ve really enjoyed the training, really enjoyed being part of the team again.

‘I’d love to kick on and work with them and stay at this club. Talks are going to happen in the next few days I would imagine, then we’ll go from there.

‘Over the last few weeks, I’ve been trying to do my bit on the pitch and worry about that (his contract) at the end of the season. Now is the time to deal with it.’