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Pompey set to complete double swoop

during the NPower League 1 match at the Galpharm Stadium, Huddersfield. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Saturday March 24, 2012. Photo credit should read: Dave Howarth/PA Wire. EDITORIAL USE ONLY. No use with unauthorised audio, video, data, fixture lists, club/league logos or

during the NPower League 1 match at the Galpharm Stadium, Huddersfield. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Saturday March 24, 2012. Photo credit should read: Dave Howarth/PA Wire. EDITORIAL USE ONLY. No use with unauthorised audio, video, data, fixture lists, club/league logos or "live" services. Online in-match use limited to 45 images, no video emulation. No use in betting, games or single club/league/player publications.

 

Pompey are to make a double swoop for Johnny Ertl and Darel Russell.

Michael Appleton has managed to eke out a little more cash from Trevor Birch for his playing budget.

He will use that to snap up the free agents for an initial month ahead of tomorrow’s transfer deadline.

Both will then come into the reckoning to face Oldham at Fratton Park on Saturday.

Pompey are also exploring the possibility of bringing in another loan player, despite already having five.

However, they have not offered a deal to Tom Soares, who has left the club after trialling for the past two weeks.

They will not be following up their interest in Blackburn midfielder Amine Linganzi, either, after he failed to impress while training with the club.

Instead Ertl and Russell, pictured above, have been offered terms to join the Blues.

Ertl played in a behind-closed-doors match against Swindon on Tuesday afternoon. He joined Linganzi in turning out for Guy Whittingham’s development side in a 3-1 victory.

Previously with Sheffield United, the 29-year-old is a versatile performer who can play at centre-half, right-back and in the centre of midfield.

Having been released by the Blades this summer, he will join Pompey on a free.

Meanwhile, Russell has spent the summer trialling with Stevenage and was offered a deal.

But he has been holding out for a Pompey move having long been a target of Appleton.

Russell was a key member of the Norwich side who won the League One title in 2009-10.

The 31-year-old central midfielder was with Preston last season and on loan at Charlton before his contract was cancelled at the end of the campaign.

For Appleton, their timely arrivals will bolster a squad hit by suspension and injury ahead of Oldham’s visit.

Lee Williamson, Adam Webster, Kieran Djilali and Ashley Westwood are all injury doubts.

In addition, Kevin Long is serving a one-match ban following his sending off at Carlisle.

Appleton has been stating his case to Birch over some loosening of the purse strings to help him.

With Pompey remaining in administration, Birch has been wary over increasing the wage bill.

Yet some ground has been made by Appleton, who now has the finances to increase his squad by two to take him to 19 players.

It is understood the wage bill is still below the £1.5m figure Portpin had recently put forward. The Trust, who along with Portpin are in the running to buy the club, have stated in their business plan the playing budget will be £2.65m.

For the time being, though, Appleton is assembling a squad with one of the lowest budgets in League One.

However, the players will remain on monthly contracts while the club continues without an owner.

In the meantime, Ertl and Russell are the latest arrivals at Fratton Park.

An Austrian international, Ertl arrived in England in 2008, when he joined Palace.

He went on to make 53 appearances during two years at Selhurst Park.

He then played 39 times for Sheffield United.

Russell has made 496 career appearances for four clubs, scoring 38 goals.

 

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