How Southampton could play a part in Ronan Curtis' potential Portsmouth departure amid Blackburn and Cardiff interest
He's reported back for duty and featured in Pompey's first pre-season friendly at QPR.
However, talk of a potential Ronan Curtis departure is likely to rumble on during the summer transfer window.
The Republic of Ireland international is keen to test himself in the Championship after three years at Fratton Park.
Since arriving from Derry City in June 2019, he's proven himself among League One's premier attackers, clocking up 40 goals and 31 assists in 141 appearances.
Danny Cowley expects Curtis to start the 2021-22 campaign with Pompey but admitted he will 'see what happens' after that.
The head coach’s previously confessed he is willing to sell prized assets to bolster his transfer kitty
Championship duo Blackburn and Cardiff are both known admirers of Curtis.
In January 2020, the former were keen – but failed to meet Pompey's valuation before he penned a new long-term deal a month later.
However, Tony Mowbray remains a fan as he plots on improving on Rovers' 15th-place finish last term.
But, according to Lancashire Live, Blackburn cannot yet fund a move for Curtis and they'll need a player sale to do so.
That's not a big surprise given the financial impact the coronavirus pandemic has had on clubs across the country, with the Championship said to be hit the hardest.
However, Rovers could have the cash required to meet Pompey's asking price on Curtis later in the summer.
That's because the Blues' south-coast rivals Southampton are reportedly keen on Blackburn talisman Adam Armstrong.
According to the Lancashire Telegraph, the St Mary's outfit have had an opening bid for Armstrong rebuffed.
Blackburn are supposedly holding out for £20m for Armstrong, who plundered 29 goals in 43 appearances throughout the 2020-21 campaign.
However, Newcastle supposedly have a 40 per cent sell-on clause.
Still, it will leave Mowbray a sizeable war chest should Southampton meet the asking price.
That, then, could lead to a concrete offer for Curtis, who has two years remaining on his PO4 contract.
As for Cardiff, manager Mick McCarthy knows Curtis well, having worked together for the Republic of Ireland.
Reports in Wales earlier this summer suggested the 25-year-old is high on the Bluebirds wish list.