January deals left in doubt

Pompey boss Michael Appleton is in the dark over his January transfer plans
Pompey boss Michael Appleton is in the dark over his January transfer plans
Christian Burgess

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Michael Appleton has revealed he is still waiting to discover if Pompey can strengthen during the January transfer window.

While the window opens on Sunday, the Blues’ precarious finances means there will be no spending of transfer fees – unless funds are generated from sales.

Yet Appleton admits he is also unsure whether he can even bring in loan players.

That includes extending the stay of Joe Mattock, whose spell is up on January 2.

The left-back has spoken of his desire to remain at Fratton Park, while Appleton and Mattock’s parent club West Brom are also keen for something to be agreed.

The Blues boss, however, has yet to hear from chief executive David Lampitt over whether that can arranged – or if any other players can be recruited.

That has left Appleton in the dark as he desperately seeks to bolster his 20-man squad.

He insists he has plenty of targets lined up should the news be positive, though.

Asked about January transfers, Appleton said: ‘I have got no idea at the minute.

‘I am just preparing and I’ve got lists together for every scenario we find ourselves in.

‘I have got to make sure that – as and when I am told when I can or can’t do something – I am ready to push the button, so to speak.

‘I can’t give any more information than that at the minute.

‘I am just waiting for the all-clear to do whatever I need to do, whether there is money available to do it, whether there isn’t, whether I have to do a little bit of wheeling and dealing.

‘I’m waiting for the green light and whatever scenario gets put in front of me then I’ve got options to manoeuvre.

‘Until somebody tells me that, I don’t know where I am.

‘When will I find out? Any day, I hope. It would help because January is just around the corner.’

Appleton is desperate to add numbers to a squad overloaded with players aged above 30.

He has already spoken to a number of clubs and agents over candidates he has identified to strengthen. And while he waits to discover what can be done, Appleton will continue to search for additions.

He added: ‘I have conversati-ons with agents and clubs every single day, especially in the past week or so because it is leading up to January.

‘I speak to them all the time and try to tee players up and get the message across that something can be sorted.

‘That’s my job. All I am doing is my job. I haven’t got a magic wand that lets me produce a lot of money to spend, so I have to be patient.

‘Everyone is aware that people are working very hard to get some investors into the club and, from what I am hearing, there is a lot of interest in the football club.

‘Hopefully, we can get the right people in place and start moving it up to where it used to be.’