Pompey keeping tabs on Rooney

Swindon midfielder Luke Rooney
Swindon midfielder Luke Rooney
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Pompey are monitoring out-of-favour Swindon midfielder Luke Rooney.

The 22-year-old is surplus to requirements at the County Ground but remains under contract there.

Football League stipulations after the Blues’ emergence from administration mean they are unable to pay transfer fees for players.

That rules them out of a permanent move for Rooney, despite his availability.

However, Pompey are keeping a close eye on the former Gillingham man’s situation should his contract be cancelled by mutual consent or a loan deal be possible.

Guy Whittingham has confirmed to The News his interest in Rooney, who made just one start for the Robins last season.

He is desperate to add another wide man to his squad, with Ricky Holmes leading the way.

Talks are still ongoing with the Barnet man on that front.

But Rooney, who has a year left on his existing deal, is also interesting Pompey as a possible alternative.

Whittingham said: ‘Luke is somebody who has been on the radar.

‘But he is a Swindon player so that is not for me to discuss at this moment in time.

‘Who knows what they are going to do with him.

‘He is under contract at Swindon and we are monitoring that one.

‘You never know what they might be doing with their players and if he is surplus to requirements then there might be interest.

‘It’s important to keep an eye on things like that.

‘You have to act quickly sometimes, as we did with Joe Devera.

‘We found out he was available and suddenly we went in and within two days it was agreed.

‘You have to act quickly for the good players.’

Rooney joined Swindon in January 2012, making 20 appearances and scoring twice as they lifted the League Two title that season.

But he incurred the wrath of then-boss Paolo Di Canio and this season was largely forced to train by himself in a gym every day for two hours.

He played just four times – all of them substitute appearances – before the Italian left in February, with replacement Kevin MacDonald bringing Rooney back into the squad.

Rooney went on to feature another eight times, including a start in the 2-0 win at Yeovil in March.

It was the only time he was named in a starting line-up all campaign.

Last season also saw him play three times on a month’s loan with Burton and three appearances during a spell with Rotherham.

Before his County Ground arrival, Rooney made his name after coming through the ranks at Gillingham.

He scored six goals in 61 appearances for the Gills.