Bristol Rovers hit stumbling block in contract talks for Pompey & Wrexham transfer target

Harry Anderson could leave Bristol Rovers for nothing. (Image: Pete Norton/Getty Images) Harry Anderson could leave Bristol Rovers for nothing. (Image: Pete Norton/Getty Images)
Harry Anderson could leave Bristol Rovers for nothing. (Image: Pete Norton/Getty Images) | Getty Images
Anderson is out-of-contract this summer - and Bristol Rovers aren’t budging

Joey Barton has revealed that contract talks between Bristol Rovers and Harry Anderson have reached a difficult stage.

Anderson is out-of-contract at the end of June, and having remained in contract talks since December, he is now at risk of becoming a free agent. Talks reached an impasse with the former Lincoln City winger who signed a two-year deal in 2021, and both parties are at different stages.

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The 26-year-old didn’t feature against Bolton Wanderers and made just one start in the six matches he made from his return from a groin injury. Anderson’s season had been hampered by recurring groin issues, limiting him to 30 matches with only 12 starts.

He has been offered the opportunity to prove his fitness, by returning to the Memorial Stadium in the summer, albeit without any contract security. Anderson has already attracted interest from other clubs, but Rovers are unwilling for the time being to meet his demands.

Barton said: “H, I spoke to him, we can’t offer him a deal. He hasn’t been fit. (I said) ‘come back pre-season, see how you are’, because he’s a good citizen here and when fit he’s a huge asset. This season we haven’t seen enough of that.”

Wrexham and Portsmouth have been two clubs linked with Anderson. The Real EFL reported back in March, that the pair had been keeping tabs on the situation. Portsmouth’s interest was strong from when Danny Cowley was in charge, but it is unsure whether they still hold interest with John Mousinho at the helm.

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Clubs from League One and League Two are said to be interested, and with Wrexham backed by Deadpool star Ryan Reynolds and American actor Rob McElhenney, they could potentially persuade Anderson to move to North Wales, with the resources they have at their disposal.

Several loan players will now return to their parent club following the conclusion of the season, whilst the club are negotiating with those whose deals expire, such as Grant Ward and Josh Grant. Despite facing the prospect of having just 13 senior players on their books next season, Barton is willing to run the risk of losing him for free.

The 40-year-old added: “He may well get an offer in the interim and if that happens, so be it. It’s tough but we’re not running a charity here.”

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