Cook believes Wallace will depart Pompey

  • Cook braced to lose Jed Wallace this summer
  • Fulham, Ipswich and Wolves are among the youngster’s suitors

PAUL COOK believes Jed Wallace has played his last game for Pompey.

The newly-appointed Blues boss met the 21-year-old at the club’s training ground on Wednesday afternoon in an attempt to clarify his future.

Jed Wallace Picture: Jed Wallace

Jed Wallace Picture: Jed Wallace

Wallace, who has now gone away for a break, pledged to inform Cook as soon as possible over his plans.

However, Pompey’s manager feels the much-coveted midfielder will now move on.

The contract Wallace signed last summer contains a transfer fee release clause, with Fulham, Ipswich and Wolves among those showing interest.

But should The News/Sports Mail player of the season move on, Cook insists he would go with his blessing.

I would love him to stay, we all want good players at the club, you should never dismiss good players

Paul Cook

He said: ‘I am not going to hazard a guess what Jed will do. Although, in my opinion, I think I know what he is going to do and his mind is on a move.

‘There was a meeting on Wednesday afternoon with him, he came down to the training ground and met us.

‘I had a nice chat with him, but it would be unfair of me to come in and say: “Get off quick we need the money” or “Stay, I love you!”

‘The lad has earned the right to do what he wants and I think it’s important he does.

‘I think this club is going to have a great future now so if Jed wants to stay and give it a go it is his call. If Jed leaves I think he will leave with everyone’s blessing.

‘I would love him to stay, we all want good players at the club, you should never dismiss good players.

‘He has gone away for a little break now and will inform us as quickly as possible.

‘Good luck to him. He’s a smashing player, a bright young man and is going to have a smashing career.

‘When you are at a club like Portsmouth, once you get the respect of the supporters you will find it hard to lose it.

‘There is no deadline for him, just let him breathe, he’s a young man, there is a lot involved if you move to club X, it is different.

‘I imagine he is very comfortable with his life in Portsmouth, he’s a good player who is adored by the fans, his life is good.

‘A move can be a challenge – but whatever the lad decides we are comfortable with it.’

Cook is well aware should Wallace depart Fratton Park, as expected, it will free up space in his current playing budget.

There would also be a transfer fee involved, with the youngster’s contract clause believed to be worth £275,000.

Had Wallace not signed a three-year deal last summer, any move to another club would have resulted in a fee being decided by a tribunal for significantly less.

And Cook is preparing to be without the talented former Lewes player for the campaign ahead.

He added: ‘We have a budget in place and should Jed leave that budget would obviously be bigger without his wages contained within it.

‘In the meantime, we are working away and trying to recruit new players to this club quickly.

‘I do believe if we can get one or two signings done quickly it will give the supporters a bit more belief.’