Awford targets new defender

Bondz N'Gala
Bondz N'Gala
Milan Lalkovic in pre-season action against the Hawks

Pompey winger set for return against Walsall

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Andy Awford’s search to add to his central-defensive ranks is under way following the exit of Sonny Bradley.

However, it is understood Bondz N’Gala is not on his wish list.

Bradley left Fratton Park yesterday to join Crawley on a two-year deal for a fee described as ‘nominal’.

It is understood a sell-on clause has also been inserted in the 22-year-old’s contract to benefit the Blues.

In keeping with requirements of the Professional Footballers’ Association, 50 per cent of the transfer figure will go towards paying legacy debts.

The remainder can be used to strengthen a playing budget which will be utilised as Awford seeks to find a replacement for Bradley.

As it stands, Ben Chorley, Jack Whatmough and Joe Devera are Pompey’s centre-halves, with Adam Webster also capable of playing there.

But Awford wants another in the position following the summer departures of N’Gala and now Bradley.

And the hunt is on.

Pompey’s manager said: ‘I wish Sonny all the best. He has found another club and I thank him for what he did for us last season.

‘We are now looking to strengthen in that area and I am looking at a number of options.

‘Looking at our squad now, I am left with three centre-halves, while Adam Webster can also play there, as he showed at Aldershot last season.

‘With Sonny now moving on that also opens things up a little bit financially and releases a bit of funds for me to strengthen that area if required.

‘We have received a nominal transfer fee and once the deductions have been made by the PFA it will come into the overall playing budget.

‘I have got targets and I have got people on the list so now Sonny has officially gone we will start to explore.’

The ex-Hull man represents the first transfer fee Pompey have received since Erik Huseklepp moved to Brann in July 2012.

The switch represents a satisfactory outcome for the Blues, who were keen to offload Bradley this summer.

Crawley were the only side to make an official approach and agreed to the club’s demand for a fee for the 22-year-old’s services.