POMPEY are nervously monitoring goings on at Derby County after the Championship club were linked with a move for in-demand Paul Cook.
Head coach Steve McClaren’s position is currently under scrutiny, following the Rams’ failure to reach the play-offs.
The ex-England boss has been a long-time target for Newcastle United, who are expected to appoint him this summer.
The Magpies had this weekend even enquired about bringing in McClaren earlier than anticipated in a bid to mastermind their Premier League survival.
The answer was a negative and instead the club have confirmed John Carver will remain as head coach for their remaining three matches of the season.
Regardless, Derby are still braced to lose McClaren and are lining-up potential candidates to replace him.
That has resulted in Cook’s name rumoured as a contender – a matter of concern for Pompey who have identified the Chesterfield manager to take over at Fratton Park.
Cook continues to impress, taking the Spireites to the League One play-offs, having also won the League Two title last term.
But his lack of Championship experience could count against him, with the Rams having for the past two years narrowly missed out on returning to the Premier League.
Chesterfield played against Derby this season in the FA Cup, losing 2-0 at Pride Park back in January.
Cook, who has a buy-out clause in the Spireites contract renewal he penned in February, is heading Pompey’s five-man shortlist.
Yet there is the complication of Chesterfield being involved in the play-offs, with their first semi-final leg taking place on Thursday.