Pompey line up keeper deal

Stephen Henderson has stalled on a new deal at Bristol City
Stephen Henderson has stalled on a new deal at Bristol City
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Pompey are lining up a swoop for out-of-contract keeper Stephen Henderson.

The News understands the 23-year-old is being targeted by the Blues after stalling on the offer of a new deal with Bristol City.

Pompey boss Steve Cotterill has been desperate to provide competition to first-choice Jamie Ashdown – the only keeper in the Blues’ squad at present – by bringing in a young shot-stopper for the new season.

Henderson fits the bill and he is ready to quit Ashton Gate in search of a fresh challenge.

The Irishman was offered a new two-year deal by Robins manager Keith Millen at the end of last season.

But with City tying down former Fratton great David James for another term and handing his deputy Dave Gerken a two-year contract, Henderson is keen to move on.

If he was to arrive at Fratton Park, Pompey would be due to pay compensation as Henderson is under the age of 24.

It is believed the Dubliner – nephew of ex-Preston keeper Wayne Henderson – is wanted by two other clubs. But the chance to break into the first-team picture at a Championship club puts Pompey in the driving seat for his signature.

Henderson started his career at Aston Villa prior to joining Bristol City in 2007.

Making just five appearances for the Robins, the ex-Republic of Ireland under-21 international has had loan spells at York, Weymouth and Aldershot.

Henderson really caught the eye during a short-term spell at Yeovil last season, though, playing an integral part in securing the Somerset club’s League One status and being named the Glovers’ player of the year.

Pompey boss Cotterill has been on the look out for a young keeper all summer after deciding to let go of Darryl Flahavan, who joined Bournemouth earlier this week.

Jamie Ashdown played in every one of the club’s 50 matches during the 2010-11 campaign and Cotterill feels the former Reading man will improve his game with a genuine challenger for his starting spot.