Portsmouth’s bids for Gillingham defender Jack Hunter have been nowhere near the high price it will cost to sign him this summer, according to journalist Alan Nixon.
Sources informed Football League World yesterday that Pompey had seen two bids for Hunter rejected, with Danny Cowley clearly keen to bring the 21-year-old centre-back to Fratton Park.
The Sun on Sunday (20/06, p65) indicated that one of those bids was in the region of £200,000, while Nixon has now confirmed that the South Coast club are yet to make an offer that is anywhere near the Gills’ valuation of the defender.
It is understood that Gillingham boss Steve Evans values Tucker at around £1 million despite his current deal expiring next summer.
Hull City have also been linked with the centre-back as they look to replace the departed Reece Burke but Nixon has hinted that the high price is proving an obstacle for the 2020/21 League One title winners as well.
Tucker started 41 times for the Gills last season and rated among the best players in the squad in terms of interceptions, clearances, and blocks per game (Whoscored).
The 21-year-old’s stock remains high after an impressive season but it remains to be seen whether the likes of Celtic, Rangers, and Leeds United – who showed an interest last year – will rejoin the race.
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It seems none of the offers made for Tucker have yet come close to Gillingham’s valuation of the 21-year-old centre-back.
Whether Pompey will return with a third bid remains to be seen but given it is early in the transfer window and he appears to be a player Cowley is keen on, it would be a surprise not to see them test the League One club’s resolve once again.
As the end of the window nears, you’d imagine the pressure will build on Gillingham, who risk losing Tucker for nothing next summer if they don’t cash in now and are unable to extend his contract.