Tom Naylor: No regrets snubbing Sunderland for Portsmouth ahead of Checkatrade Trophy final

Tom Naylor has no regrets turning down Sunderland as he prepares do battle against them at Wembley.

Friday, 29th March 2019, 3:02 pm
Updated Friday, 29th March 2019, 3:06 pm
Tom Naylor celebrates Pompey reaching the Checkatrade Trophy final at Bury. Picture: Daniel Chesterton/phcimages.com

The Pompey midfielder is expected to start when the two sides meet in the Checkatrade Trophy final tomorrow (2.30pm).

Naylor was a free agent in the summer after rejecting a new contract at Burton Albion.

That led to a host of clubs chasing his signature.

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Tom Naylor celebrates Pompey reaching the Checkatrade Trophy final at Bury. Picture: Daniel Chesterton/phcimages.com

The 27-year-old revealed he held talks with Sunderland towards the back end of last season.

However, Chris Coleman’s departure following the Black Cats’ relegation from the Championship put paid to any negotiations. 

Before Jack Ross succeeded the former Walkes manager, Naylor’s agent continued to have conversations with Sunderland.

But the ex-Derby man wasn’t keen to play for a boss he wasn’t signed by.

Kenny Jackett then came knocking, with Naylor signing a three-year deal at Fratton Park. 

He’s been key during this season’s League One promotion push, making 43 appearances and scoring three goals.

And Naylor is pleased how everything has turned out following his move to the Blues. 

He said: ‘I spoke to Sunderland in the summer when Coleman was there.

‘But he went and I wasn’t really interested if their manager didn’t want me.

‘So Portsmouth came calling – the two biggest teams in the league – and it’s a bonus.

‘Once Chris went then I knew it wasn’t really going to happen.

‘My agent spoke to someone up there but it just wasn’t right.

‘I didn’t want to play for a manager that didn’t want me in the first place.

‘The gaffer here wanted me and it was nice to come here and play for a big club.

‘Of course I’ve got no regrets.

‘I love it down here and the weather is beautiful – way better than it is up north!’