Loan striker lined up to ease Pompey’s scoring woe

Luke Varney is being eyed by Leeds
Luke Varney is being eyed by Leeds
Derry City winger Ronan Curtis

Transfer Gossip: Pompey linked with Ireland Under-21 ace

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Michael Appleton believes he will clinch a loan deal for a striker within the next 10 days.

The Blues boss has identified an emergency loan signing who he is confident can solve his team’s goalscoring problems.

So far, a deal has yet to be reached with the unnamed forward’s parent club.

Former Ipswich player Tamas Priskin and West Bromwich Albion’s Simon Cox have both been linked with a Fratton Park switch.

Appleton was quick to scotch those rumours, but he remains in the hunt to bolster the attack of a side which has scored just twice in the past seven matches.

He said: ‘I would be very surprised if they (West Brom) let Simon Cox go out to anyone at the minute.

‘But we are working really hard and if we don’t get one in before the Brighton game on Saturday then I am convinced there will be someone in place for the Bristol City game.’

Appleton must also wait to discover which of his team will follow Liam Lawrence and Erik Huseklepp out on loan to ease the wage bill.

Stephen Henderson remains a popular target, while Leeds are among several clubs to have shown interest in Luke Varney.

Appleton added: ‘We have had polite enquiries from various clubs about various players but that is all.

‘Until they come with hardened offers similar to ones for Erik and Liam, then we will just continue to work with the players. I think there has been a polite enquiry from Leeds for Luke (Varney), but they are not the only club because he is a quality player.’

Meanwhile, a virus has been explained as the reason why Tal Ben Haim missed last night’s match at Reading.