Appy planning talks with duo

Ricardo Rocha and Jamie Ashdown are out of contract this summer
Ricardo Rocha and Jamie Ashdown are out of contract this summer

Michael Appleton plans to meet with Pompey’s out-of-contract duo to decide their futures.

But Appleton has warned both Jamie Ashdown and Ricardo Rocha would have to take pay cuts to remain at Fratton Park.

The Blues manager is currently busy assembling plans for his squad in League One next season.

That includes clocking up the road miles while travelling around the country and meeting potential signings.

Jason Pearce’s £500,000 exit to Leeds on Friday is expected to open the floodgates for departures this week.

Rocha and Ashdown’s contracts are coming to a close, with Benjani’s deal also up – although the forward has no future at the club.

Both Rocha and Ashdown are popular figures among Blues supporters and they are settled in the area.

Appleton faces a massive overhaul this summer but would consider keeping the pair on board.

That will be decided when the goalkeeper and defender get around the table with their manager.

Appleton said: ‘I’ll give them a few days to relax and unwind a little bit.

‘I think I need to do that myself and sit down again with Trevor (Birch).

‘We have got to discuss certain things, and it is the wrong time to start talking about people out of contract.

‘We can’t re-sign them anyway if we wanted to, but they will have an opportunity to have their say and put their case across.

‘What you have got to realise is we are in different division now, and, even if I did fancy keeping them on board, they are going to have to take a pay cut.’

Appleton is planning ahead on the arrivals front and has met a number of targets in recent days.

They are making positive noises about joining Pompey’s bid to bounce back into the Championship at the first attempt next season.

Barnet striker Izale McLeod is rumoured to be a target on Appleton’s radar, with his deal coming to a close with the Bees.

McLeod impressed this term, smashing in 22 goals with the League Two strugglers and was named in the PFA divisional team of the season.

Appleton knows he faces a busy time ahead this week as he continues to push forward with recruitment plans.

He said: ‘A lot of time, as manager, my job starts again as soon as I leave the club building.

‘My phone doesn’t stop and you end up going to meeting after meeting for all sorts of stuff.

‘But. for me and for Portsmouth, hopefully it’s a new start and I will get a chance to build a really competitive squad.’