Bristol Rovers fend off Portsmouth interest to tie down ‘asset’ to long-term deal

‘I am absolutely delighted to sign a new deal. I love it here and last year was special in so many ways.’

<p>Aaron Collins is going nowhere after committing his future to Bristol Rovers. </p>

Aaron Collins is going nowhere after committing his future to Bristol Rovers.

Bristol Rovers have secured the long-term future of their striker Aaron Collins, signing a new three-year deal.

Collins was due to be out of contract at the end of the 2022/23 season after signing a two-year deal last summer but has now committed his long-term future to the club.

He follows in the footsteps of talisman Anthony Evans and manager Joey Barton on personnel who have signed new deals over the summer.

The 24-year-old scored a career best 16 goals last season, helping the Gas to promotion from League Two.

He said: “I am absolutely delighted to sign a new deal. I love it here and last year was special in so many ways.

“I’m looking forward to even more good times and, if the next three years are anything like the last one, then I can’t wait! There’s lots more goals in my locker and it’s an honour to represent the blue-and-white quarters."

In the earlier part of the summer, it was reported that Portsmouth were keeping tabs on the striker.

Pompey boss Danny Cowley had been a regular visitor to the Memorial Stadium last year and was complimentary about Rovers’ attack when discussing their promotion achievements.

The Blues have since gone on to sign Colby Bishop from Accrington Stanley for an undisclosed fee, as well as bringing in Tottenham Hotspur starlet Dane Scarlett on a season-long loan.

Portsmouth’s interest may have faltered in Collins but the player signing a new deal fends off any interest from them or any other interested parties given the security of his contract.

Barton said: "Aaron was superb last season and was a huge contributing factor to our success.

He was asked to play in a position that was unfamiliar to him and he led the line tirelessly. As a club, we need to make sure we tie our assets down to long-term deals and it is great for everyone that we’ve got this deal done before the season starts."

Owner Wael Al-Qadi added: "I am over the moon that Aaron has signed an extension. He provided many memorable moments for Gasheads last season and I’m looking forward to watching many more!"

Collins in pre-season has reverted to playing as a left-sided attacking midfielder following the arrival of John Marquis.

Rovers are continuing to deploy one striker and the Welshman will act as support to the experienced striker.

Rovers start their domestic campaign on Saturday, July 30, when Collins takes on his former club Forest Green Rovers at a sold out Memorial Stadium.