Pompey eye midfielder swoop

Kyle Bennett Picture: Steve Uttley
Kyle Bennett Picture: Steve Uttley
Pompey's Brett Pitman scores a penalty in the Blues' 1-1 draw against Walsall at Fratton Park. Picture: Joe Pepler/Digital South.

Picture gallery: Pompey 1 Walsall 1

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POMPEY are eyeing a move for Doncaster Rovers midfielder Kyle Bennett.

But the League One side remain confident they can retain the 24-year-old with a new deal.

Bennett’s existing Keepmoat Stadium contract ends next month, rendering him a free agent.

It is understood that has attracted interest from new Blues boss Paul Cook as he looks to transform a failing squad.

Bennett is an attacking midfielder who, despite being right-footed, can play on the left, cutting inside if required.

He has just enjoyed his most consistent season yet for Doncaster, making 50 appearances and scoring eight goals.

Previously, he had largely operated as a substitute, while spent loan spells at Crawley and Bradford City.

Now the ex-Wolves trainee’s stock has risen – and that has alerted a number of clubs towards his availability this summer.

Cook has wasted no time putting plans in place following his appointment on Tuesday, driving down that afternoon from Chesterfield.

Today he will face the media for the first time, with chief executive Mark Catlin and chairman Iain McInnes also to attend his maiden Pompey press conference.

In the meantime, the 48-year-old has been busy looking to overhaul his squad, with 11 players out of contract this summer.

Chesterfield midfield duo Gary Roberts and Jimmy Ryan have already been linked with following their former manager to Fratton Park.

Roberts would require a fee, while Ryan is available on a free transfer having turned down the offer of a new Spireites deal.

Midfield is clearly an area which requires strengthening, particularly with the anticipated departure of chief creator Jed Wallace.

Cook prefers to operate with a 4-2-3-1 system which would suit Wallace, yet Fulham, Ipswich and Wolves are vying to tempt him away.

A potential replacement is Doncaster’s Bennett, although sources up north suggest he is settled with a young family in the area.

Regardless, he is believed to be on Pompey’s radar as the rebuilding begins in earnest.

Bennett, who is a Wolves supporter, is the younger brother of Norwich winger Elliott.

After failing to break into the first-team set-up at Molineux, he spent a year at Bury where Catlin was a club director at the time.

The hard-working midfielder played 35 times and netted twice at Gigg Lane, albeit serving mainly as a substitute.

He joined Doncaster for an undisclosed fee in the summer of 2011 and has gone on to make 131 appearances and score 16 goals.

Now Bennett has come to the attention of Pompey, led by their new boss.