The starlet files Barker hopes can strengthen Blues

Fulham's Sean Kavanagh has been linked with a move to Pompey
Fulham's Sean Kavanagh has been linked with a move to Pompey
Dion Donohue Picture: Jason Chadwick

Midfield could be the home for Pompey signing-in-waiting

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Richie Barker has revealed he has constructed an exhaustive database of the top under-21 talent in the country.

And Pompey’s boss is continuing to sift through it as he seeks to strengthen his side this month.

Daniel Alfei has already landed on loan from Swansea as Barker explores the Premier League for highly-promising youngsters to recruit.

The Blues have also been linked with Fulham’s Sean Kavanagh.

Although, while the manager is aware of the left-back, he has dismissed making a move.

Still, Barker insists he has extensive knowledge at his fingertips of the brightest young things around.

He said: ‘We have built up a database of young players having watched every under-21 team in the country – probably 10 times in the last two years.

‘That has been developed through myself, our chief scout at Crawley (Martin Hinshelwood), Anthony Williams and Steve Coppell.

‘I saw us linked with Sean Kavanagh the other day and at some point I must have had a conversation with someone about him. But, obviously, the agent has decided not to keep it in house.

‘There are probably 200 players we are aware of in under-21 football because that is my job to be aware of that.

‘If you came to me and said “I need a right-back so where can I go?”, I can speak to my team and they will tell me the top-six right backs we have watched or top-eight sitting midfielders, or whatever.

‘It is my job to know that.’

With the experienced Nicky Shorey arriving last week, Barker is no longer looking for a left-back.

That rules out a move for Kavanagh, who is presently injured anyway.

And for Barker, he is one of many, many players Pompey have been enquiring about.

He added: ‘Steve Coppell knows a lot of people at some big clubs so he may have had a conversation with the people at Fulham.

‘That is no more than probably another 75 conversations I have had between myself, Taff (Williams), Steve and – to a certain extent – Macca (Alan McLoughlin) about many people.

‘We want to be in a position that if somebody leaves tomorrow we replace them the next day. If somebody gets injured on Saturday we replace them on the Sunday,.

‘At 2.40pm on some days I have probably had 50 conversations about 50 different players.

‘If all 50 of those had their agents put it out and I then discussed it, we would still be here tomorrow!’