EXCLUSIVE: Sweet speaks out on Vassell’s future

Isaac Vassell scores for Luton against Yeovil on Saturday
Isaac Vassell scores for Luton against Yeovil on Saturday

Hatters chief executive Gary Sweet has confirmed the club are unlikely to accept any bid for striker Isaac Vassell before the transfer window closes.

The 23-year-old has been the subject of increasing speculation over the last week, with both Bristol City and Birmingham City reported to have submitted offers for him.

Isaac has been offered more than one offer to extend his contract to stay at Luton but, naturally, he wants to keep his options open.

Gary Sweet

However, speaking exclusively to the Luton News about the forward, who scored 14 goals for the club last season and bagged a further double against Yeovil on Saturday, Sweet said: “We have received offers from clubs for his registration but no offers have been accepted and no offers are likely to be accepted.

“Clearly, I have a consideration to the board - and indeed everybody including the supporters - to protect our assets and maximise our financial position.

“But I also have a duty to the manager - and also indeed everybody too including the board and supporters - not to weaken our promotion chances this season and to ensure we maintain what is a fantastically harmonious squad.

“Occasionally, those two objectives can challenge each other but we’re all perfectly capable of making such decisions when we need to but not before. Certainly, the time is not now.

“We have an enormous pride in how we help players develop and we’re never afraid to release a player who develops more quickly than the football club is able to.

“Once we recognise we can’t hold a player back we usually support and help them to find the best club for their career progression.

“This core ethic will never change but timing is vital and we don’t think this is the optimum time for both parties right now.”

Sweet went on to confirm that Vassell, whose contract is due to expire at the end of the season, has been offered improved terms to extend his stay at Kenilworth Road on more than one occasion, but is yet to accept them.

He continued: “Isaac has been offered more than one offer to extend his contract to stay at Luton but, naturally, he wants to keep his options open.

“We have no problem with a player wishing to better himself, showing ambition and consider his development.

“However, from a club point of view, he is a valuable member of the team at a valuable period in our own development and he is under contract.

“Additionally, we all feel that another season of progression at Luton will do his career, long term, no harm at all - quite the contrary.

“Indeed, should he extend, instead of Championship clubs bidding on a League Two player we will have Premier League Clubs bidding on a League One player and we see that as a win/win situation for everyone involved.”

Manager Nathan Jones called for an end to the ‘circus’ surrounding the reports over Vassell’s future during last night’s post match press conference after Town exited the Carabao Cup, Sweet reiterated those pleas too, adding: “Let’s not be distracted from the primary focus - getting on with the business of continuing our season in the manner we started it, with Isaac Vassell’s valuable contribution.

“Unless Nathan, Luton Town Football Club or I advise otherwise, you can be assured that any fresh information regarding this position is going to be the social media rumour-mill working overtime again.”