Pompey are closing in on Ipswich Town midfielder David Norris as they step up their bid for new recruits.
The 29-year-old midfielder is out of contract in the summer and could be available at a cut-price fee of around £250,000.
But while Norris is in the Blues’ sights, Michael Brown and Richard Hughes moved closer to the exit door after Pompey confirmed there had been approaches for both players from unnamed clubs.
Ahead of tomorrow’s crunch clash at home to Leeds, chief executive David Lampitt refused to identify the Blues’ targets.
But he revealed offers have been made for several players in an attempt to boost Steve Cotterill’s threadbare squad.
And The News understands Norris is one of those lined up.
Lampitt said: ‘We’ve made offers for players in this transfer window.
‘That’s been difficult for us because we need people in now and the sooner, the better.
‘We’ve made offers for more than one player and those discussions are ongoing but we haven’t had an offer accepted.
‘We’re trying to get bargains where we can. If you’re trying to get a bargain, you tend to get it towards the back end of the transfer window, rather than the front. Clubs will hold out to try for a better price.’
Asked about Norris, Cotterill added: ‘A central midfield player would probably fit into the team quite nicely.
‘I would like three permanent signings and two loan signings so there are five players I would like to bring in.
‘But I would settle for four.’
Lampitt revealed both Brown and Hughes have attracted interest from other clubs after their contract clauses – which entitled them to new deals on wages Pompey cannot afford if they played one more game – effectively ruled them out of featuring for the Blues again.
Lampitt said: ‘We recognise we need to strengthen the squad and we are probably looking for an additional two or three players.
‘We’ve had approaches for both Brown and Hughes. It’s down to the players because they’ve got to agree to it and agree terms.
‘There has been interest from the Premier League and Championship clubs and one League One club.
‘They are not necessarily loan deals.
‘We are in their hands but I like to think that they will want to play football, either here or somewhere else.
‘We will see what happens over the next 10 days.’
Cotterill, meanwhile, also rubbished speculation that has resurfaced linking David Nugent with a move to Blackpool.
The Blues boss said: ‘I don’t know what that one was about.
‘I’ve not had a call.’