Jackett: Pompey working hard and closing in on deals

Kenny Jackett has reassured the Fratton faithful that Pompey are working hard on bringing in recruits.

Wednesday, 5th July 2017, 7:00 am
Updated Tuesday, 18th July 2017, 8:42 am
Pompey boss Kenny Jackett Picture: Sarah Standing

And it is understood the Blues are rapidly closing in on a new loan signing.

That is in addition to their long-running pursuit of Brighton keeper Christian Walton, who is also interesting Wigan.

As it stands, Nathan Thompson is the sole fresh face at Fratton Park ahead of the club’s League One return.

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It was former boss Paul Cook who initiated the defender’s arrival from Swindon on a free transfer last month.

Jackett has also been busy scouring the market for players he believes can boost the Pompey squad he inherited.

Areas which clearly require addressing with the League Two title winners are goalkeeper, left-back, central midfield and up front.

For the Blues manager the hunt continues – and he is adamant the club are doing all they can to strengthen.

Jackett said: ‘We are okay and working hard at trying to improve the squad.

‘I don’t think there will be major changes at the start of the season, but if and when we can, we’ll improve on what we have.

‘Along with ourselves, Mark Catlin and Tony Brown are working very, very hard with recruitment so we will see how that develops between now and the end of the transfer window.

‘I don’t want to say somebody will definitely come in during this week in case it doesn’t happen.

‘We are looking to strengthen certain positions, definitely, but are not in a situation where I would like to say player X or player Y is arriving.’

Pompey’s chief goalkeeping target remains Walton – another previously identified by Cook.

The 50-year-old may have taken charge of Wigan, but his interest remains and they are running the Blues hard for the ex-Luton loanee.

Pompey hope the opportunity to remain closer to home – and operate as an undisputed number one – can clinch his arrival.

In terms of striking talent, Dagenham & Redbridge’s Oliver Hawkins has caught Jackett’s eye.

The towering striker bagged 19 goals for the National League side as they finished in fourth spot.

Ipswich, Nottingham Forest and Rotherham have also been linked with 25-year-old Hawkins.

At left-back, home-grown Brandon Haunstrup is the only candidate on the club’s books.

For the second half of last weekend’s friendly at Salisbury, attacking midfielder Jez Bedford was pushed into the role as a stand-in.

The summer departures of Michael Doyle, Stanley Aborah and Amine Linganzi have also left the Blues light in the centre of midfield.

Jackett presently has Ben Close, Adam May and Danny Rose at his disposal for two holding-midfield spots.