Whittingham anticipating midfielder resolution this week

Guy Whittingham is keen on Ricky Holmes, right
Guy Whittingham is keen on Ricky Holmes, right
Matt Clarke celebrates his goal at MK Dons. Picture: Joe Pepler

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Blues boss Guy Whittingham expects the future of Ricky Holmes to be clarified this week.

Further talks with the winger’s representatives are planned following the Pompey manager’s return from a two-week holiday in Majorca.

Holmes has made no secret of his desire for a Fratton Park switch.

Last week he told The News of his interest in the move.

However, a sticking point has been the recurrence of a foot injury while playing for Barnet in February which required surgery.

Holmes is adamant he has now recovered.

But the situation has delayed his potential arrival on the south coast.

Whittingham, though, remains keen on the 25-year-old and is targeting recommencing negotiations.

He said: ‘We are going to have another chat with his agent this week.

‘Obviously with me being away we have not reached any agreement at all.

‘I’ve read Ricky’s comments in The News about wanting to come here and it is very encouraging.

‘We lost one or two targets who went elsewhere.

‘But the players we are getting want to come here and he is one of those who, we believe, has held off other clubs.

‘That can only be good for the club and supporters to see that players want to come here.

‘I went to see him play last season but he was injured.

‘That was unfortunate!

‘But we have seen enough on DVDs and made enquiries before the season finished.

‘So we have long since done our homework.

‘A wide player is one of those areas where we need maybe to look at, so Ricky definitely fits the bill in that respect.

‘I am not going to disclose where we are with his medical, I think I would rather we keep that to ourselves.

‘But it’s ongoing. We will have another look at it and hopefully it will be sorted out either way this week.’

Whittingham has 16 first-teamers in his squad so far.

He is striving to reach the 18 mark and is seeking to recruit a winger and a central midfielder.

Holmes comes into the equation as a wide man.

Then there is the possible need to bring in another player for the centre of the park.

Whittingham added: ‘I still think we need another central-midfield player.

‘We maybe also need another wide player and they are two areas that are possibilities.

‘I think we are all right with full-backs, centre-halves, possibly, or, maybe being greedy, another striker.

‘I am not saying there are one or two areas tied down. If somebody is out there and you think “blimey, he’s decent, let’s get him in”.

‘But the priority is centre midfield and a wide man and you could say Ricky comes into one of those categories.’