Guy still fears Wallace Pompey exit

Jed Wallace has attracted interested from a number of clubs   Picture: Joe Pepler
Jed Wallace has attracted interested from a number of clubs Picture: Joe Pepler

Guy Whittingham has admitted he cannot be certain Jed Wallace will be at Fratton Park next season.

The 19-year-old yesterday signed a 12-month extension to his existing deal after the club took up an option on him.

With six goals in 22 appearances, the midfielder has emerged as a prized asset for the Blues.

Wallace’s form has alerted the likes of Brighton, Bournemouth and Ipswich, who continue to monitor him.

Brighton, in particular, retain strong interest and, along with Port Vale, they had a bid turned down on transfer deadline day in January.

Whittingham is still keen for Wallace to be offered completely fresh terms to secure his long-term future.

But the Pompey boss is concerned he may not be able to keep him beyond this summer.

‘Will Jed be here next season? I honestly don’t know,’ said Whittingham.

‘We can’t stop clubs coming in for him, obviously.

‘What we want to try to do is tie him down to a longer contract. That is up to him.

‘There is no rush because we have a year’s extension, but we want to do that as soon as we possibly can because I think it is important to get people like him sorted out so you know one way or the other.

‘I’d like to sort it out this summer. Sign a new deal or if he goes, he goes, that is the way it is.

‘You get the list of clubs coming down to scout and have a rough idea of who they are coming to watch. I should think since he came back from his loan spell at Whitehawk there have been three or four scouts here every game, just to watch him.

‘He’s a lad who has matured a lot, on the football pitch as well as off it. He gets football a lot more now, how much a team game it is, whereas before it was very much all about Jed.

‘He has become a real honest lad. Not that he wasn’t before, but he is now realising what it takes because of being in a first-team environment.

‘So I’m hoping because of that and the way we have brought him into that, taught him and given him the opportunity, he might think he will help us out for another year.

‘But, knowing Jed, he also wants to play at the highest level he can.’

Wallace will inevitably start tomorrow at Shrewsbury as Pompey bid goodbye to League One.

But Whittingham believes the former Lewes player may be eyeing the Championship.

He added: ‘I think it would take a Championship club for Jed to go. That is my own personal feeling.

‘I don’t think it would be any old one but one that looks to get promoted next season.

‘I don’t know, that is just my guess that’s what he would look at and he is the type who would want to go somewhere that plays decent football, too.

‘He was quite happy to sign his extension, though. Whether that is a positive sign, I don’t know.’