Hughes offers to slash salary

Pompey midfielder hoping contract wrangle can be resolved

Hughes: Keen to stay

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Richard Hughes is desperate to see his contract issues at Portsmouth resolved as soon as possible.

The midfielder faces an uncertain future as the New Year approaches, with his time at Fratton Park hanging in the balance.

After eight-and-a-half years of loyal service, he knows a goalscoring showing against Leeds on Tuesday may have been his last for the club.

One more appearance this term would trigger a 12-month extension clause in his contract, on Premier League wages.

Pompey cannot afford to pay him that kind of money and could be forced to overlook him for the remainder of the season.

Hughes hopes a solution can be found before he is restricted to the sidelines, with the offer of a 50 per cent salary cut already put to the board by his representatives.

He told The News: "You will have to ask the powers that be what is going on. Obviously, they have been very busy but I would have liked to have had it sorted out before now.

"I'm hopeful it can be because I love playing for Portsmouth and have never taken my time here for granted.

Appreciative

"I am appreciative of everything this football club has done for my career and just want to get out there and do what I love to do, which is play football.

"It's a difficult thing because I have read what has been said, and if I was a fan I would be asking questions about exactly what is happening.

"The people making the decisions know I would be delighted to take a significant salary decrease in order to waive this clause.

"I am not talking an insignificant amount either - I am talking 50 per cent because I appreciate financially things have to change. The last thing I want is for anybody to think I am being greedy.

"My agent has had a conversation with the chief executive [David Lampitt], it was very amicable and very professional.

"We made a proposal we think is fair in order to waive the clause, which means signing a contract from next season. As far as I am aware, it is left in their court and something can be achieved.'

Hughes added: "It's not a situation that has arisen overnight. It's been there for months and months and the talks probably started shortly before the Norwich game.

"I am sure if everything was running smoothly from the top to the bottom of the club it would have been addressed a long time ago."