Pompey bid for Doyle will have to wait

Eoin Doyle. Picture: Joe Pepler
Eoin Doyle. Picture: Joe Pepler
Pompey's Gareth Evans. Picture: Joe Pepler

Evans: Player talk has lifted Pompey form

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POMPEY will prioritise nailing down the future of their existing staff before pursuing new recruits.

And that means a bid to bring Eoin Doyle to Fratton Park will remain on the backburner for now.

Paul Cook is keen to land the Irish striker permanently following his loan stay with the Blues.

Doyle started every game following his arrival from Preston, making 12 appearances and scoring two goals.

A groin injury curtailed his involvement, however, leading to his return to Deepdale.

The 29-year-old chose Pompey over League One sides including promoted Bolton.

The striker would be happy to link up with Cook on a permanent basis after their title success.

But the decision, and then likely wait over Michael Eisner’s takeover is a potential stumbling block.

Until that deal is rubber-stamped Pompey will work to existing budgets – with £3m earmarked for playing staff and their wages next season.

In the meantime, the focus is on securing the futures of the players who are out of contract and wanted next term.

Kyle Bennett and Gareth Evans signed their deals this week, with three and two-year contracts agreed respectively.

Attention has now turned to Jack Whatmough committing his future to Pompey.

The Blues also see tying down Christian Burgess and Kal Naismith to new contracts as a priority, with both men having a year left on their existing terms.

Pompey are resigned to losing out-of-contract player of the season Enda Stevens to Sheffield United. Captain Michael Doyle has departed for Coventry.

– JORDAN CROSS