Barker keen to keep midfielder

On-loan Pompey midfielder Toumani Diagouraga Picture: Joe Pepler
On-loan Pompey midfielder Toumani Diagouraga Picture: Joe Pepler
Pompey boss Kenny Jackett

Pompey boss lays down end-of-season demands

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RICHIE BARKER is hoping to keep Toumani Diagouraga at Pompey.

Manager Barker is planning talks with Brentford to extend the all-action midfielder’s loan stay at Fratton Park.

The 26-year-old has caught the eye in his three games since arriving at Fratton Park from the Bees last month.

His current agreement runs until after the clash with Fleetwood next weekend.

But Barker has made it clear he wants the Frenchman to remain at the club to help his drive up the League Two table.

‘‘I don’t know (if he can stay). I’m in the process of asking,’ said Barker.

‘I’d like to keep him for longer.

‘I’ll be talking to Brentford.

‘I won’t push my luck, but I’ll try whatever I can to keep him here.’

Diagouraga’s displays have gone down well with Pompey’s fans, as he brings an energetic and destructive presence to the middle of the park.

But Barker has no doubt he brings more than just hard running to the equation.

The Blues boss said: ‘He’s played at the top of League One for a long time.

‘I’m not saying he finds it easy dropping down.

‘But he is physically and mentally in the right place and can play.

‘He ticks a lot of boxes.

‘I saw a lot of him when I was at Crawley.

‘I think we played Brentford something like four times in a season.

‘I talked about legs and people getting around the pitch.

‘He adds that to us but he can play as well.

‘He won’t panic on the ball when he gets it.

‘We didn’t just sign him to run around and make tackles. He can play.’