Portsmouth captain Tom Naylor could be a target for Mansfield Town
Mansfield Town's summer transfer rumour mill began in earnest today with speculation that former Stags defender Tom Naylor may be returning to the club.
The Portsmouth captain's three-year deal expires this summer and while the League One club have said they are in negotiations with him to stay, a BBC pundit, Chris Wise, believes Naylor is also on the radar of his former boss at Mansfield.
“Mansfield is a possible destination for Pompey captain Tom Naylor ” he tweeted.
“Interest has been there for a number of weeks.
“Naylor began his career with the Stags, and played under their current boss Nigel Clough at both Derby and Burton.”
Coming through the ranks, the Kirkby-born 29-year-old signed his first professional deal with Stags in 2009 and, after loan spells with Belper Town and Alfreton Town, began to garner rave reviews for his displays with the Stags.
Mansfield turned down a bid from a League One side, believed to be Charlton, before Stags boss Paul Cox allowed Naylor to go out on a one week trial at Premier League Fulham.
But in November 2011 Nigel Clough took him for two months on loan at Derby County before making the deal permanent.
After several loans spells, he joined Burton Albion, under first Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink and then his old boss Clough, winning back-to-back promotions and helping them stay up in the Championship.
Clough's arrival at Burton was a boost to Naylor, who said: “I was delighted when he came in because he brought me at Derby.
“It's always nice to have familiar faces in the coaching staff as well and it's was a bonus when I signed my deal because he's the gaffer that brought me at Derby so he knows what my capabilities are.”
However, the lure of a club the size of Pompey proved too much and he rejected a new deal at Burton to join the sleeping south coast giants in 2018 where he was made captain.
They have just missed out on this season’s play-offs by two points at the death.
Naylor made 23 first team appearances for Mansfield, scoring once.
He has now played 389 games in all competitions and netted 30 goals.