Pompey target: I’d love to work with Cotterill

Luke Varney
Luke Varney
Milan Lalkovic in pre-season action against the Hawks

Pompey winger set for return against Walsall

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Luke Varney has opened the door for a switch to Pompey after admitting he has no Derby future.

And he revealed he would relish the possibility of working under Blues boss Steve Cotterill.

Pompey are leading the chase for the 28-year-old, who impressed in the Premier League last season with Blackpool.

Derby, who are open to offers for Varney, have insisted there has yet to be a formal approach from Fratton Park.

However, there remains interest from the Blues as Cotterill looks to bolster his meagre numbers ahead of their July 1 pre-season start.

Varney insists he has not spoken to any clubs as he is still under contract at Pride Park.

But he would welcome a move to a Championship side with ambitions and would be prepared to relocate from his Leicester home. And he has told The News he would love to work under the tutelage of Cotterill.

He said: ‘I am still a Derby player and have 12 months left on my contract.

‘I will probably be looking at something else, though.

‘On the back of last season, I have heard there are quite a few clubs looking at me.

‘I’m more than willing to speak to anyone. I need to get my future sorted.

‘The Premier League would be my preference, although I would also go to a Championship side with ambitions.

‘I am a football fan and know a bit about what is happening at Portsmouth – it sounds like exciting times.

‘I know a little bit about Steve Cotterill, too. Some of my friends have worked with him and I am sure he would be a great manager to play under and would be something I would enjoy thoroughly.

‘That would be something I would be excited about getting involved in.

‘I have also seen how he works when I have played for teams against him.

‘He is quite instrumental in everything, motivational with plenty of passion. They are the sort of managers I would like to work under.

‘I would definitely like to work under him at some point in my career.

‘At the moment, though, I am at Derby so I’ve just got to wait to see what happens.’

Derby are scheduled to pay Varney’s former club Charlton an additional sum if he makes one more appearance.

That has prompted them to loan him out, firstly to Sheffield Wednesday and then Blackpool, during the past two seasons.

He impressed at Bloomfield Road in his maiden top-flight season, scoring five goals in 30 games for Ian Holloway’s men.

But Blackpool have ruled out a permanent switch for the former Crewe striker.

Now he is waiting to see where his future lies.

He added: ‘There is a problem with Derby over a payment to Charlton. That needs to be sorted out before I can move on.

‘It’s a bit of a waiting game, really. If anything can get done before pre-season training then I will be happy to do that.

‘I would like to get my future sorted and hopefully to do pre-season and get to know my new team-mates, wherever that may be.’