Stacey still a Hatter for now

Hatters defender Jack Stacey
Hatters defender Jack Stacey

Defender Jack Stacey is still a Luton Town player for the time being according to boss Nathan Jones.

The 22-year-old has been the subject of increased speculation this week, with Championship side West Bromwich Albion believed to be leading the race in attempt to prise him away from Kenilworth Road.

The Baggies have tested Luton’s resolve with a number of offers, but so far they have been rebuffed, meaning Stacey, who played 46 times for the club last season, remains a Hatter.

Giving the latest on the situation this afternoon, Jones said: “Jack is with us, we’ve been tested by a substantial bid again, a few actually, but we’ve managed to stay strong with Jack.

“I don’t think everything’s all done and dusted yet, but at the minute, Jack’s going to continue to develop with us and we’re delighted to do that because he’s a wonderful player.

“At no point did I ever want Jack to leave, but the type of club and the type of offer came in, it was a real difficult one.

“As it pans out at the minute, he’s still a Luton player and we’re absolutely delighted with that.”

On whether Stacey had been kept up to speed about the interest in him, Jones continued: “Every player knows every single bid that they get.

“We have a process here where we inform the player once a formal bid has come in, so nothing’s kept in the dark.

“Nowadays agents know before we do, so it would be futile to try and keep it quiet here.

“If a formal bid comes in, we tell the player, we talk the player through our course of action, why we’ve turned it down, or why we’ve accepted it, and they’re always kept in the loop.”

Although Stacey has missed both of Town’s recent pre-season matches, with James Justin playing instead, Jones insisted he was available for Saturday’s trip to Portsmouth.

He added: “Yes, he’s a great kid, for me he’s been the best right back last year.

“We’ve got two here, so it’s difficult for me to speak about the best one as we’ve got two real, real gooduns here, top ones, and to have the type of full backs we have here is unusual.

“Bet he’s a great kid, a top pro, he’s fit, he wants to develop, wants to learn, he’s very grounded in everything he does.

“Wherever Jack Stacey ends up in his career, he’ll have a fantastic one because of just the type he is, but we’re looking to add even more to him, even more structure, even more development to him.

“He’s brilliant, I love our players, but Jack’s one that has really stepped in and done phenomenally and gone so quickly.

“We love that, so I know he’ll be grounded, I know hell be focused because he’s that type.”