Whittingham dismisses duo’s Premier League exit talk

Jed Wallace, left, and Dan Butler, right, are keen to stay with Pompey according to Guy Whittingham. Picture: Joe Pepler
Jed Wallace, left, and Dan Butler, right, are keen to stay with Pompey according to Guy Whittingham. Picture: Joe Pepler

Guy Whittingham has shot down suggestions Dan Butler and Jed Wallace have been lined up for Premier League moves this summer.

The caretaker boss is adamant both players are keen to remain at Pompey for next season and beyond.

Reports have tipped Wallace for a switch to Stoke, while Manchester City have been linked to Butler.

Scouts have been commonplace at Fratton Park in a season which has seen the teenage duo emerge into the starting line-up.

But Whittingham insists there have been no approaches since the transfer window closed.

Butler is out of contract this summer but has been told there will be a new deal once the club come out of administration.

In addition, Wallace has been informed the 12-month option in his existing contract will be taken up by Pompey.

Whittingham said: ‘There have been no approaches whatsoever, I am sure it is just paper talk.

‘Agents do a job and they try to get interest in their players, I am sure that is part of it.

‘Obviously there is interest in them because they are playing in the first team.

‘When 18/19 year olds are playing in the first team then people are going to come to watch them.

‘We have different scouts coming all the time – it varies between six and a dozen every game.

‘You don’t know whether they are looking at these guys or someone in the opposition.

‘We have told Dan he is staying! He is fine, we’ve been talking to him, he knows we want him to stay and once we know whether there is a football club he will sign.

‘With Jed there is an option on our side and he knows he is staying.

‘He just wants to play football, so wherever he is playing football he is happy.

‘The thing with him is, if he goes off somewhere else he won’t be playing as much football as he is here, because he will go into an under-21 squad.

‘I was watching Reading youngsters play Stoke on Monday and they are much better off playing first-team football where it counts.

‘They want to stay and they both know they have a lot to learn and there is no better place learning it than here.

‘There has been no contact from anybody as far as we are concerned, it’s just agents.’

Wallace has made 17 appearances this season, scoring four goals.

Butler has featured 14 times during what has been the duo’s breakthrough year.

Whittingham does, however, concede one day they could be cashed in on.

He added: ‘If someone came in with £3m we are not going to be stupid and say “no”.

‘If they do go it won’t be because we want them to go, it will be because finances dictate the offer is the best thing for the football club.

‘I am not saying we are looking to sell, we are not, but that always might happen.’