Ronan Curtis is attracting interest from Championship and Scottish Premiership clubs, according to Leroy McCourt.
Speaking to the Derry Journal, McCourt – who coached the Pompey winger as a junior – revealed a Premier League-chasing outfit phoned him up asking for his verdict on the Republic of Ireland international.
Curtis has enjoyed a scintillating maiden season at Fratton Park.
Since moving to the Blues from Derry City last summer, the 23-year-old has scored 12 goals and created 15 during Kenny Jackett’s side’s League One promotion push and Checkatrade Trophy triumph.
His rampant form has also earned him a breakthrough to the Eire senior set-up, while he was awarded his country’s Under-21s Player of the Year last month.
McCourt worked with Curtis when he was a youngster at Foyle Harps.
The south London-born talent’s ex-coach compared him fellow Derry aces Shane Duffy and James McClean – at Brighton and Stoke, respectively.
And McCourt, who works as a full-time scout for Brighton in Ireland, told that a Championship side in the play-offs have been in contact to discuss Curtis’ attributes.
He said: ‘Ronan is absolutely flying.
‘He’s actually taken me by surprise as well. He has to be the best newcomer in League One and I know for a fact there are Championship teams looking at him and Scottish Premier League clubs.
‘There’s a team high up in the play-off places of the Championship who rang me looking for my advice about him and I gave him a glowing tribute.
‘He’s a strong will and he’s a good lad.
‘He’s like Shane and James McClean. They have this endless energy and don’t seem to tire.
‘When it came to technical ability those boys were maybe 7/10 but when it came to determination they were 11/10.
‘James is the exact same. They just have that heart to win and great genetics to be fair.
‘They weren’t stand-outs but you always knew if they pushed themselves they had it.’
Boss Kenny Jackett insisted Pompey received no bids or enquiries.