Blues star extends Fratton stay

West_Ham 14/01/12  (sport)''Marco Futacs in action against West Ham at Fratton Park. 'Pictures: Ian Hargreaves (110140-15)

West_Ham 14/01/12 (sport)''Marco Futacs in action against West Ham at Fratton Park. 'Pictures: Ian Hargreaves (110140-15)

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Pompey have tied up Marko Futacs for another season.

Michael Appleton has activated a clause for an additional 12 months of the towering striker’s deal.

It means the 21-year-old is contracted at Fratton Park until the summer of 2013.

It’s a big boost for Blues fans concerned their emerging talent could be snatched away.

Futacs’ initial deal was scheduled to expire at the end of the campaign.

But before giving him his full debut, Appleton instigated moves to invoke a contract clause to retain Futacs for an additional 12 months.

The Hungarian striker has made a massive impression on Pompey’s manager on the training ground.

That prompted Appleton to last month hold talks with Futacs’ English agent over extending his deal.

Since then he has netted twice in four starts and emerged as a key figure.

Futacs himself told The News last week he wanted to remain at Fratton Park.

And the outcome is the former Werder Bremen striker has now officially extended his stay.

Appleton said: ‘It has been done.

‘Marko probably doesn’t know about it but it has been done.

‘You may think I’m probably being a bit crafty with this one and maybe I was.

‘But I knew that I was going to involve Marko at some point because I was impressed with him.

‘So I sat down with his agent two weeks before he was in the first team.

‘I knew where people were going if he did well.

‘I spoke to Marko’s agent again on Thursday, so there’s not a problem.

‘I am sure he will be happy enough over the next week or so.

‘Don’t worry about it, Marko will be around for a while.

‘He won’t be leaving here.’

Futacs earned a one-year deal in August after impressing during a week’s trial.

During that time he netted in a 4-0 friendly win over Swindon, played behind closed doors.

That was enough to convince Steve Cotterill to secure him until the end of the season.

Futacs was given just fleeting moments in the first team until his New Year’s Eve full debut.

In seven substitute appearances he totalled just 70 minutes of first-team football.

However, he did net in a charity game against FC Rostov in October when given a start.

But after being blooded against Leicester, he has now established himself as a regular.

Although Appleton is eager to remain grounded.

He added: ‘I am not getting carried away with him, I know the ability he has got and where he can go.

‘As long as he continues to do what he is doing I will be happy.’

Meanwhile, Pompey are still pursuing a loan signing.