Factfile: Pompey target Carl Baker
Pompey target Carl Baker is understood to be mulling over an offer to join the Blues.
Here we look at the man Paul Cook is keen to make his third summer recruit, following the signings of Danny Rose and Matt Clarke.
Hailing from Prescot, Liverpool, Baker is a born-and-bred Scouser who was on the Reds’ books as a youngster.
Having started his football career at Prescot Cables, Baker began to make a name for himself at Southport, with whom he won the Conference North title in 2005.
While at Southport, Baker represented England twice at semi-professional level, winning on both of his appearances for England C, against Italy (3-1) and Finland (1-0).
League Two Morecambe swooped for the midfielder in a then club record fee (although undisclosed) in 2007 - but after scoring in a famous League Cup win over Wolves, he did not stay for long.
Stockport spent £225,000 a year later to acquire his services as Baker’s stock rose higher with successive away hat-tricks against Brighton and Crewe, netting 13 in a brilliant 2009-10 season.
Coventry then parted with £300,000 in the January 2010 transfer window for Baker as manager Chris Coleman compared the player to club legend Tommy Hutchinson.
Baker became a firm fans’ favourite at the Sky Blues, skippering the side in a four-and-a-half year stay.
Following his surprise 2014 release, Baker joined MK Dons, helping his new side clinch immediate promotion from League One.
Partnering current England and Spurs man Dele Alli in the Dons midfield, Baker was named the club’s player of the season.
But relegation from the Championship this season has rendered the 33-year-old a free agent with Cook keen to pounce for the experienced midfielder.
Away from football, Baker has had his issues - notably a disqualification from driving after failing to provide a specimen in a suspected drink driving incident in August 2006.
A couple of months later, then at Southport, Baker was suspended for a week and fined for a serious breach of club discipline.
Baker has also suffered tragedy with older brother, Michael, dying of leukemia two days before he played in his honour for Stockport in September 2009 - scoring both goals in a 2-2 draw at Yeovil.