Pompey consider club-record bid for England keeper... Varney open to move - Portsmouth transfer rumours from yesteryear

Pompey kick-started their summer transfer business with the signings of Ellis Harrison and Paul Downing on Friday.

Saturday, 22nd June 2019, 4:00 pm
Updated Sunday, 23rd June 2019, 8:37 pm

The Blues also said goodbye to Matt Clarke, who finally completed his protracted move to Brighton.

Harrison and Downing’s arrival means Kenny Jackett has now brought three new faces to Fratton Park since the end of last season.

More will undoubtedly follow as the manager attempts to build a squad capable of winning promotion to the Championship.

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And that means the rumour mill will keep turning as speculation grows over who will be next to make PO4 their new home.

At the last count, Pompey had been linked with nearly 30 players this summer.

But, of course, transfer speculation is part and parcel of the football scene during the close season.

As a result, we’ve taken a look back at potential signings and completed deals that were getting Pompey fans excited on this exact day in years gone by.

Former Norwich keeper Robert Green was on Pompey's radar

Here’s a selection of what The News was reporting on the transfer front...

Pompey keen on England keeper Green (2005)

Pompey were considering a club-record bid for England keeper Robert Green.

Norwich wanted more than £2.5m for the 25-year-old who made his international debut against Colombia the previous month.

Striker Luke Varney did make the move to Fratton Park

Chairman Milan Mandaric confirmed Pompey’s interest in a keeper who was also attracting attention from Fulham.

With talks already under way for Chelsea’s £2m-rated striker Carlton Cole, Pompey’s interest in Green was an indication of Mandaric’s growing aspirations for the Blues.

The Blues owner had promised to spend more money that summer than ever before – having already paid £4.1m for Andy O’Brien, John Viafara and Laurent Robert.

Mandaric said: ‘We’ve looked at him. He’s on our list. He would be an investment. And if the investment is right, we would spend the money.’

Harry turns to deadly Fredi (2007)

Harry Redknapp was travelling to Spain today in 2007 in a bid to end his striker frustrations.

Redknapp was intending to watch Fredi Kanoute as he weighed up whether to fork out £7m for the Mali international.

Kanoute was appearing in the Spanish Cup final for Sevilla against Getafe.

The Pompey boss was agonising over whether to shell out another massive transfer fee to land the player.

He admitted he was also attracted by Manchester United striker Alan Smith.

Redknapp said: ‘I’ve been to Spain for the past three weekends and I’m going to watch the Spanish Cup final.

‘I don’t have to watch Fredi Kanoute to know how good he is.

‘He’s a top player but the money they are asking for is a lot. I don’t know if he’s worth £7m'.

Storrie moves to reassure Pompey fans (2009)

Peter Storrie insisted Pompey’s recruitment drive was running at full power on this day in 2009, despite remaining in takeover limbo.

And he revealed a player wish list had been drawn up as the chase for new arrivals continued.

The Blues were free to deal in the transfer market while prospective new owner Sulaiman Al Fahim’s due diligence process continued.

Yet with finances still to be finalised and a manager not in place, they found themselves with their hands tied.

Aaron Mokoena was one likely recruit having claimed he had agreed a deal with the club when his Blackburn contract runs out.

Pompey had also been linked with approaches for Dinamo Zagreb striker Mario Mandzukic, former West Brom loanee Marc-Antoine Fortune and Czech winger Jaroslav Plasil.

Nu beginning for striker at Fratton Park (2010)

Steve Cotterill was refusing to write off David Nugent’s Pompey future.

The Blues boss wanted to sit down with the out-of-favour striker to find out whether his Fratton Park career could be salvaged.

Nugent spent nearly all of the previous season on loan at Burnley, scoring six Premier League goals.

He was expected to be back at Pompey for the start of pre-season training on July 1.

Yet the 25-year-old, who at the time had one year remaining on his contract, had been quoted saying he does not see his future on the south coast.

Cotterill told The News: ‘I do not know what’s going on with David. I’ve got a bit of catching up to do with plenty of things.

‘I need to sit down with him and have a little look at what is happening and what he wants to do.

‘There is no point in writing him off, he’s a good footballer.’

Varney opens door to Pompey move (2011)

Luke Varney opened the door for a switch to Pompey after admitting he had no Derby future.

And he revealed he would relish the possibility of working under Blues boss Steve Cotterill.

At the time, Pompey were leading the chase for the 28-year-old, who impressed in the Premier League the previous season with Blackpool.

Derby, who were open to offers for Varney, had insisted there had yet to be a formal approach from Fratton Park.

Varney said: ‘I am still a Derby player and have 12 months left on my contract.

‘I will probably be looking at something else, though.

‘The Premier League would be my preference, although I would also go to a Championship side with ambitions.

‘I am a football fan and know a bit about what is happening at Portsmouth – it sounds like exciting times.'

Awford relishes the versatility of Westcarr (2014)

Craig Westcarr's versatility would enrich Pompey’s wealth of attacking options.

That was the verdict of Andy Awford, who believed the ‘surprise’ free agent could be a key offensive player.

The 29-year-old bolstered an impressive attacking pool, which included Ricky Holmes, Jed Wallace, Andy Barcham and Wes Fogden, in addition to strikers Ryan Taylor, Patrick Agyemang, Ryan Bird and Tom Craddock.

The previous season Westcarr enjoyed the most prolific season of his career, with 16 goals for Walsall.

Awford said: ‘Craig gives us a different front player to what we have got already, he complements those already here.

‘He scored goals last season and can play not just down the middle but wide, which is an added bonus.

‘Craig’s lively, gives you that something a little bit different and he’s creative if I want a link player.’

Davies heads for exit, with Talbot arriving (2016)

Ben Davies' Pompey career was over - and his right-back role had been taken by ex-Chesterfield man Drew Talbot.

Davies was to leave Fratton Park when his contract expired.

A new deal for the 35-year-old could not be reached, drawing a close to his time on the south coast.

Davies was desperate to remain with Pompey, where he enjoyed an outstanding campaign having arrived as a free agent.

However, an agreement could not be brokered and the energetic full-back was now seeking a new home.