Portsmouth chief executive Mark Catlin has admitted that striker Conor Chaplin has been the subject of interest from other clubs.
Chaplin, who was named The LFE League Two Apprentice of the Year in April, has enjoyed an eye-catching start to the current campaign with 4 goals in 9 appearances. The youngster signed his first professional contract (a one-year deal) during the summer and recently put pen to paper on new terms that will keep him at Fratton Park until 2018.
And while Catlin insists it was ‘relatively easy’ to get the highly-regarded youngster to commit himself to the Blues, he confessed that other clubs still retain an interest in Chaplin.
Liverpool are reportedly at the front of that queue, with Chaplin thought to be a player that they have identified to add to a blossoming group of Under-21 players at Anfield. Yet Catlin is delighted by Chaplin’s progression at Pompey.
“Conor has come in, done everything asked of him, his goal ratio is superb and at any level if you’ve got someone who scores goals they attract a huge premium,” Catlin said.
“There has been a bit of interest. No firm bids but we know who comes to watch games, we pretty much know through the grapevine who they are watching.”
“It is fair to say there has been a lot of interest in him. There has not been a firm offer, he is still young, still learning his trade and you wouldn’t expect that at the moment. The number of scouts is actually a good barometer of how well you are doing (as a club).”
“To keep your young talent that has come through the club and lock them in for a substantial period of time is a fantastic coup. It wasn’t really difficult at all. Conor had already said publicly he wanted to stay and all the feedback we got from him and his agent backed that up.”
“Obviously it was an improved deal for him and we have the added bonus that it’s for three years. It shows how highly regarded Conor is at the club and obviously I take my lead off the manager,” he added.