Defender still in Pompey’s sights

Greg Halford
Greg Halford
Matty Kennedy. Picture: Joe Pepler

Pompey 1 Southend 0: They said what

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Pompey still have Greg Halford in their sights – despite the signing of Jason Pearce.

The former Bournemouth skipper was snapped up on Friday, strengthening Steve Cotterill’s central defensive options.

But the Blues boss remains interested in bringing back Halford as well.

About to enter the final year of his Wolves deal, the former Colchester man faces an uncertain future at Molineux.

He is likely to be cashed in rather than loaned out as Mick McCarthy looks to drum up funds to improve his squad this summer.

Cotterill would love to bring Halford back to Fratton Park after his outstanding loan spell last season.

The arrival of the highly-regarded Pearce has certainly not dented Pompey’s desire to do business.

And Halford continues to be on Cotterill’s wish list as he cranks up his player recruitment drive ahead of Friday’s return to pre-season training.

He said: ‘We are still interested in Greg. We are interested in lots.

‘There are quite a few targets we are still after and if they come across the line then great.

‘What we are trying to build here is a squad.

‘Sometimes you can’t pick and choose how they come in and when they come in.

‘You can have a strategy and you can write it down and contact the clubs of players you are interested in and do all of that.

‘But sometimes they don’t always drop in the order you want them to drop in.

‘When they do drop you have to make sure you get them across the line very quickly.’

Meanwhile, Cotterill is hopeful of pulling off more signings this week. He already has David Norris and Pearce on board this summer, taking his player numbers to 10.

Luke Varney is one who has been linked and last week told The News of his desire to work with Cotterill.

Burnley striker Martin Paterson is also a reported target. The 24-year-old endured an injury-hit campaign last term, although was a key figure in their promotion to the Premier League two years ago. Regardless, the Blues boss is optimistic others will follow Pearce into Fratton Park this week.

He added: ‘We are close to getting somebody else over the line, that one could happen for sure this week but I don’t want to get carried away with myself.

‘Until these deals are done you don’t want to open up too much because you don’t want somebody coming in and gazumping you.

‘If we can bring in the people I have targeted I think they will not only be good footballers for the club but very, very good investments because they are good young players.

‘We have had a couple of knockbacks and we’ve gone back and been knocked back again.

‘So I think the next week or so is going to be quite important.’