Pompey still eyeing former loanee

Michael Smith is still in Pompey's sights as Paul Cook steps up his recruitment drive.

Tuesday, 21st June 2016, 6:00 am
Updated Thursday, 25th August 2016, 6:36 pm
Michael Smith Picture: Joe Pepler

The striker is surplus to requirements at Swindon, where he is under contract for another 12 months.

That situation means a fee would be required to bring him to Fratton Park – and for the right price the Blues are willing to do business.

Smith spent three months on loan with Pompey last season and impressed Cook with his ability and attitude.

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He netted four times in 16 appearances as his displays improved significantly after a slow start.

Yet the 24-year-old did not feature in the play-off semi-final against Plymouth, following the expiry of his 93-day emergency loan.

This summer Cook is again on the hunt to recruit strikers to his squad – and Smith is in the frame.

The Blues have already indicated they will no longer pursue Caolan Lavery due to the necessity of a fee being set by a tribunal.

As for Marc McNulty, despite Cook remaining keen on last season’s top scorer, new Sheffield United boss Chris Wilder has insisted he wants to keep the Scot.

Meanwhile, Lee Novak last week opted to join League One side Charlton, despite a strong chase from Pompey.

Smith remains a more realistic option, with the Robins interested in offloading the Geordie.

Pompey are desperately short of strikers in their playing squad at present, with only Conor Chaplin among their ranks.

Matt Tubbs is still contracted at Fratton Park but was transfer listed last month.

Last season they largely relied on loan strikers to supplement their attack, with Smith, McNulty, Lavery, Conor Wilkinson and Jayden Stockley featuring.