Portsmouth midfielder explains how he almost signed for Sunderland, why he didn't and why he has no regrets

Pompey midfielder Tom Naylor admits he came close to signing for Sunderland last summer.

Saturday, 30th March 2019, 8:23 am
Updated Saturday, 30th March 2019, 8:38 am
Portsmouth midfielder Tom Naylor has admitted he nearly signed for Sunderland last summer

The 27-year-old was a free agent as a successful stint at Burton Albion came to an end.

Chris Coleman was planning for a major rebuild on Wearside and Naylor, a defensive midfielder who was excelled for Pompey this year, was a key target.

Portsmouth midfielder Tom Naylor has admitted he nearly signed for Sunderland last summer

Naylor admits Coleman's subsequent departure put an end to any move and insists he has no regrets ahead of the Checkatrade Trophy final between the two sides on Sunday.

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Jack Ross arrived and bolstered his midfield with the signings of Dylan McGeouch, Luke O'Nien and Max Power.

"I spoke to Sunderland in the summer when [Chris] Coleman was there," Naylor said.

"But he went and I wasn’t really interested if their manager didn’t want me.

"So Portsmouth came calling – the two biggest teams in the league – and it’s a bonus.

"Once Chris went then I knew it wasn’t really going to happen.

"My agent spoke to someone up there but it just wasn’t right," he added.

"I didn’t want to play for a manager that didn’t want me in the first place.

"The gaffer here wanted me and it was nice to come here and play for a big club.

"Of course I’ve got no regrets.

"I love it down here and the weather is beautiful – way better than it is up north!"

Naylor has been a key player for Kenny Jackett, making 43 appearances in all competitions this season.