Pompey target Michael Doyle after defender swoop

Michael Doyle Picture: Martyn Harrison
Michael Doyle Picture: Martyn Harrison
Conor Chaplin. Picture: Joe Pepler

Pompey boss weighs up best attacking formula

  • Doyle has made 580 career appearances following spells at Coventry, Leeds and Sheffield United
  • Pompey have already signed Bennett, Naismith and Stevens
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PAUL COOK’s Pompey overhaul continued with the signing of Enda Stevens.

And now the Blues are closing in on making Michael Doyle their fourth arrival of the summer.

I had other offers but this one really appealed and I’m looking to meeting the new lads for the start of pre-season training

Enda Stevens

Stevens yesterday penned a two-year deal following his release from Aston Villa.

Pompey beat off League One interest to secure the 24-year-old, including an offer from Doncaster Rovers, who he served on loan last season.

The Irish left-back joins Kyle Bennett and Kal Naismith in the Fratton Park ranks as Cook’s new-look squad begins to take shape.

That is set to be added to with the recruitment of free-agent Doyle.

The former Sheffield United holding midfielder was released by the League One play-off semi-finalists last month, prompting Pompey to make an approach.

Any potential deal was held up while the 33-year-old went on a fortnight’s holiday. However, he returned at the weekend.

The Blues will now seek to wrap up a move for Doyle, who captained previous clubs Coventry City and the Blades.

The Republic of Ireland international was also a key member of the Leeds United side which won promotion to the Championship in 2009-10.

With 580 matches and 32 goals in his career, he will bring a steadying influence to the Blues’ midfield.

Now Cook is striving to complete a deal for a player who started as a Celtic trainee, before moving to Coventry in the summer of 2003.

Chief executive Mark Catlin last week warned the Fratton faithful that transfer activity would quicken once players were back from their holidays.

The first evidence of that was yesterday, when Stevens flew in from Dublin to seal his long-anticipated arrival.

The former Shamrock Rovers defender had faced Cook’s Sligo Rovers during their days in the League of Ireland’s premier division.

Hours after completing his Fratton switch, Stevens returned to the Irish capital ahead of the start of pre-season training.

He made 32 appearances and scored once for Doncaster last season, where Bennett was among his Keepmoat Stadium team-mates.

And Stevens is relishing kicking off his Pompey career.

He said: ‘It’s a massive club. It’s a club I grew up watching in the Premier League, while everyone knows how good the fanbase is.

‘It is a club I believe under the new manager can shoot up the leagues, so it’s something which excites me.

‘I had other offers but this one really appealed and I’m looking to meeting the new lads for the start of pre-season training.

‘I really enjoyed my loan spell at Doncaster last season, now I want to show what I can do at Portsmouth.’

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