Doyle day of reckoning for Pompey

Pompey will today discover whether their pursuit of Eoin Doyle has been successful.

Tuesday, 31st January 2017, 6:00 am
Eoin Doyle

The Blues enter transfer deadline day still retaining hope the Preston striker can be brought to Fratton Park.

The fact they remain in the hunt is heartening, with League One club Bolton also desperate to add him to their ranks.

It is understood Preston have a preference for the 28-year-old to link-up with the Trotters.

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However, the opportunity for Doyle to once more work with Paul Cook has been tempting enough to ensure the process has not been straightforward.

Bradford and several other clubs are also monitoring the situation, yet Pompey and Bolton have led the pack from the very start.

The two clubs have until 11pm tonight to finalise a deal, when the January transfer window ends.

And the Blues are hoping they have done enough to convince the in-demand striker to drop down two divisions for regular first-team football.

With Preston focused on a Championship fixture at Cardiff tonight, they are keen for Doyle’s loan exit to be secured early in the day, irrespective of the destination.

Likewise, both clubs have alternative plans should they miss out.

Bolton’s Jamie Proctor has been looked at by Pompey during the transfer window, but they are also not alone in chasing that option.

The striker enjoyed a popular six-month stay at Bradford last season before Phil Parkinson took him to Bolton.

With the Bantams currently seeking to bolster their attack, they have enquired about taking Proctor back.

However, their main target remains Carlisle’s Charlie Wyke and discussions are ongoing.

Should that attempt fail, manager Stuart McCall could turn to Proctor, who is highly-regarded in the game, despite his current disappointing spell at Bolton.

To further complicate the issue, Carlisle have also been linked with the 24-year-old – should they lose Wyke to the Bantams.

Meanwhile, Bolton are eager to offload summer signing Proctor to enable them to recruit Doyle.

Parkinson yesterday signed Chris Long on a season-long loan from Burnley, taking his squad to its maximum level of 23.

He must create space by allowing fringe players to depart, with Proctor fitting the bill.

It adds up to a complex merry-go-round in respect of Doyle, Proctor and Wyke.

Irrespective of the outcome, Pompey have spent this transfer window prioritising the recruitment of a new striker.

With Curtis Main out for the foreseeable future due to a knee injury and Michael Smith struggling with form, Cook is seeking a new face ahead of this evening’s transfer deadline.