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The Ball Is Very Firmly In Ports Court

14 May 2021

David Artell says talks with forward Chris Porter will continue after the club offered the vastly experienced 37-year-old a new 12-month deal. The former Oldham, Derby and Sheffield United striker has been used more sparingly this season as he has battled for the central role with Mikael Mandron, but the Wigan-born forward has still contributed 7 goals from his 37 appearances.

Porter is honing in on 200 career goals and Artell is hoping that the veteran can achieve that accolade with us next season.

Artell told the club’s official website: “I have spoken to Chris and we are in communication on the phone and via email. It is all very civil and adult and I’ve told him we will be as flexible as we can with him.

“If that includes introducing him to some coaching, then we will look to facilitate that, like we have done previously with some of our players and them getting their coaching badges. We would help with that if that is the road Chris would like to go down.

“The ball is very much in Chris’ court. If it’s to try and earn as much money as he can then I am sure he may have other and better offers on the table and Chris knows his value. He is old and wise and been in the game a long time. He is a real clever fella.

“He also knows that we try and look after him. He got injured last pre-season so that is something we will look to avoid this summer. I thought he was invincible and so did he and we took the hit on that.

“We will be real sensible with him and there will be days where he won’t train and get that rest into his body. He is a top professional and has been fit for over 20 years in the game now and he knows his body better than anyone.

“We try to manage that and maybe he won’t get that luxury somewhere else. He would be starting afresh with a new manager and staff and there is a risk attached to that but as I’ve said, it is in Chris’ court and I am sure we will come to a solution soon.”

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