Andy Cullen details progress of Portsmouth transfer hunt as he targets more Fratton Park signings

Andy Cullen has revealed Pompey are targeting another five playing additions.

Thursday, 29th July 2021, 5:00 pm
Danny Cowley's squad is still short after bringing eight players in - but Andy Cullen insists the Blues are targeting another five new signings. Picture: Rogan/JMP

And the Blues chief executive concedes recruitment is expected to carry on beyond the League One kick-off on August 7.

Danny Cowley has so far brought in eight players during the summer transfer window, yet his squad lacks depth.

Cullen acknowledges Pompey are aiming for a squad size of 22-23, plus young players already on their books.

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Supporters have become frustrated over the apparent lack of progress on recruitment over the last month.

But Cullen is adamant Pompey are working hard to bring in the right targets.

He told The News: ‘We have been very, very diligent. Certainly it would be extremely easy to fill the squad up with players if we were desperate, if we were anxious.

‘We’ve had a lot of triallists coming into the team and are also in discussions with other clubs over players.

‘We’re trying to get that balance right, bringing in the likes of Shaun Williams and Ryan Tunnicliffe, players that have played in the Championship.

‘We’re also using the loan market as effectively as we possibly can. We’ve got five loans to use and want to use them sensibly, making an impact on the team.

‘Already there’s the likes of Gavin Bazunu. There are another couple we are working very, very hard to try to secure and we still have until August 31.

‘Naturally we would like to get all the recruitment done for the start of the season, but there has been a knock-on effect from the Euros this year and a lot of clubs will still be doing business after August 7 – and I don’t think we will be any different in that respect.

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‘There are a few more permanents to come in as well, so we’re certainly looking to bring in another five players.

‘We’re probably operating a squad between 22-23 players for next season, in addition maybe also giving one or two of the youngsters coming through an opportunity.

‘That’s the core of what we want.’

Pompey’s squad currently numbers 20, although that includes several youngsters.

Haji Mnoga, Liam Vincent, Jayden Reid, Bazunu and Ahadme are all aged under 21, so are not included under squad restrictions.

Meanwhile, Pompey are seeking to sign Dan Gyollai on a free transfer from Peterborough, with the keeper presently trialling.

Cullen added: ‘We would rather go with quality rather than quantity for next season.

‘In that case you've got to make sure that your due diligence is done well in terms of not just technical ability but mental strength.

‘That is going to be incredibly important when you are in the promotion battle, which is where we’d like to be.’

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