Cotterill backs mystery trio to delight fans

Pompey midfielder Danny Rose. Picture: Joe Pepler

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They are three primary targets Steve Cotterill is convinced will delight the Fratton faithful.

Now he’s itching to get them signed, sealed and delivered as swiftly as possible.

Luke Varney, Martin Paterson and Peter Whittingham have emerged as transfer candidates during the past week.

Cotterill, however, has retained his long-standing vow of silence when it comes to discussing those players he is interested in recruiting.

The Blues boss will not comment on such speculation, the rumours having instead leaked from others involved in the chain.

However, he has revealed there are a trio of unnamed players topping his wish list at present.

According to Cotterill, the mystery threesome possess the quality to make the Championship take note of Pompey’s aspirations under new owners Convers Sports Initiatives.

And Cotterill insists the Blues are closing in on them all.

He said: ‘I always try to keep transfer targets – as much as I can – close to my chest, wherever I have been.

‘All I will say is there are three main targets out there at the moment that we haven’t got over the line.

‘If we got those three I would imagine the owners would be very, very happy because they would be investments as well as for now. I would also imagine the fans would be very happy.

‘I definitely would be. And let’s just say I am probably the most difficult to please out of all of us.

‘I would love to let everybody know who they are.

‘I’d like all of them through the door now and then say “there you go” and start working with them.

‘We are not yet in that position, though.

‘However, things so far are ticking along, even if I would like them to be a little bit quicker.

‘For me, full of impatience, I would like them to be a lot quicker but you do need to try to be a little bit patient and I am not good at that.

‘I want everybody in and I want them all sorted now.

‘Unfortunately, that may or may not be the case because the other clubs don’t wish to sell their players.’

At present, David Norris and Jason Pearce are Pompey’s confirmed summer signings.

Varney is expected to be completed this week.

He has already told The News of his desire to work with Cotterill at some stage in his career.

Meanwhile, bids have yet to be accepted by Burnley and Cardiff for Paterson and Whittingham respectively.

However, it is understood Pompey’s desire to capture them remains unaffected.

In the meantime, the Blues are edging ever closer to the start of pre-season training on Friday.

As it stands, just eight players will be present.

In addition, Liam Lawrence, Kanu and Tal Ben Haim have been given another week off.

And Cotterill hopes he may have others on board before then.

He added: ‘We need a lot of new arrivals before pre-season.

‘It hasn’t been for the want of trying.

‘I have absolutely busted my back this summer but we are trying to do it on a sensible budget, which obviously does make things a little bit more difficult.

‘Having said that, we are doing it sensibly and trying to invest not only for the long term – which we want – but we need there to be a short-term impact as well.

‘The players I have targeted would definitely be both short-term and long-term in those plans.

‘If we get a few of the others through then I think we’ve made a good statement that the club is really back on a rebuild.’