PORTSMOUTH boss Kenny Jackett has confirmed that contract talks have begun with centre back Christian Burgess.
The 28-year-old’s current deal expires in the summer, and last year the club announced there would be no negotiations over new deals with any player until the season was over.
The club have now moved on that policy, with both goalkeeper Alex Bass and top scorer Ronan Curtis signing new contracts this year. Now Jackett has confirmed talks with Burgess have started, but they are a long way from agreeing a new deal with the former Peterborough United man.
“We just felt it was time, that’s the big thing. As the season goes on, it’s March next week, so it is really time,” said Jackett, who has made Burgess one of his first choices in defence this season.
“Also, to some degree, it’s reward for doing very well over the winter period, so it’s a combination of those things.
“We would definitely like to keep him; he has been a good player for me and is well on his way to having a good season.
“Christian has done well up to now and, as time goes on and his contract is up in the summer, we thought that it was the right time to talk to him.”
Burgess became a regular in the starting XI just over a year ago when Jack Whatmough suffered a serious knee injury, and this campaign has developed a formidable pairing with Sean Raggett, especially since the turn of the year.
Despite a recent hiccup with defeats against Coventry and Fleetwood, Pompey have conceded just three goals in their last eight league games, a run that has seen them force their way into the promotion picture.
Speaking to The News, Jackett confirmed he was keen for the player to stay at Fratton Park beyond this season, adding: “We have talked to Christian about his situation and there has been nothing decided yet.
“That doesn't necessarily mean we have offered or agreed, so there’s not necessary any news, but there have been talks definitely. As manager, I would like him to stay.”
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