Pompey on verge of Appleton deal

Michael Appleton
Michael Appleton
Dion Donohue. Picture: Colin Farmery

New boy’s bitter-sweet Pompey experience

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Pompey are on the verge on unveiling Michael Appleton as their new boss.

The News understands compensation talks are progressing encouragingly with West Bromwich Albion.

The 35-year-old has emerged as the number one target to replace Steve Cotterill.

As a result, David Lampitt has been holding negotiations with the Premier League club since Friday.

Appleton is currently on a 12-month rolling contract at The Hawthorns.

They are also loath to let the assistant head coach leave, having identified him as a future Baggies manager.

Yet the former midfielder is desperate for his first managerial job and has made his intentions known he wants a switch to Fratton Park.

Appleton’s expected appointment is also on the understanding he keeps the existing backroom staff.

That is not viewed as a problem by the manager-elect, who is eager to use the abilities of Guy Whittingham and Stuart Gray.

The duo have impressed hugely as caretaker managers during the six matches since Cotterill walked out.

Likewise, Appleton has honed an excellent reputation at the Baggies as a coach during the eight years since his retirement.

He has worked his way through the club’s coaching ranks after being forced to hang up his boots in November 2003.

Such has been his high regard, he made the shortlist of four to replace Roberto Di Matteo in February.

Instead Roy Hodgson was named as manager, with Appleton staying on to be his right-hand man.

Now the 27-day chase to bring him to Fratton Park appears to be at last coming to a successful conclusion.