Varney salutes Pompey ambition as Halford signs up

Luke Varney is unveiled by Pompey
Luke Varney is unveiled by Pompey
Matt Clarke celebrates his goal at MK Dons. Picture: Joe Pepler

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Luke Varney saluted Pompey’s ambition – as Greg Halford joined him at Fratton Park.

Striker Varney has been training with the Blues since Tuesday after signing from Derby on a three-year deal for a fee believed to be £750,000.

He has been followed to Pompey by Halford, who also penned a three-year contract.

Halford completed a medical yesterday morning ahead of joining from Wolves for a fee believed to be approaching £1m.

The 26-year-old then trained with his team-mates as he returns to the club he represented so outstandingly while on loan last season.

Fellow new recruit Stephen Henderson was also in action at the Wellington Sports Ground yesterday.

The goalkeeper will be officially unveiled once Pompey agree a compensation fee with Bristol City, which is needed as the Irishman joined on a free transfer from the Robins and is under the age of 24.

That makes it three recruits in a week for Pompey boss Steve Cotterill.

Suddenly, Cotterill’s numbers are up to 15 – with Ian Evatt, Martin Paterson, Jason Puncheon and Paul Konchesky also in his sights.

And Varney is delighted with the aspirations of the club he has joined.

He said: ‘I am really pleased to get it sorted out.

‘I’ve had discussions with three or four clubs but once I spoke to people here it seemed like an up-and-coming club again.

‘What really came across when speaking to the manager was the club’s ambition.

‘He told me about the plans he has and the players he is looking to sign. That is something I want to be part of.

‘There are some quality players here already.

‘I’ve been training since Tuesday and you only have to look around to see who is here to know that.

‘I think we can aim as high as we would like. Once we get a few more players in, then you can really start putting your benchmark out.

‘I’ve been relegated on the last day of the past two seasons.

‘Once with Sheffield Wednesday in 2009-10 and once with Blackpool last season.

‘That is something I would like to put behind me now.

‘And I believe I can at Portsmouth.

‘There is great quality here and I want to be part of that.’

In addition to the arrivals of Varney, Henderson and Halford this week, Liam Lawrence and Tal Ben Haim are expected to return to training today.

They will join Hermann Hreidarsson after the defender arrived back from Iceland.

However, Kanu will not return until next week.

He has been given extra time off to visit a doctor in America for a routine heart check-up.

As a result, the striker will miss Monday’s opening friendly against the Hawks (7.45pm).