Transfer latest as Portsmouth look to trim squad with player hunt focused on three key areas

Pompey are ready to focus their January recruitment drive on three key positions.

Tuesday, 7th January 2020, 6:00 am
Updated Tuesday, 7th January 2020, 6:05 am

And the Blues will have to trim their squad numbers to bring in the quality of recruit they’re looking for this month.

Reeco Hackett-Fairchild yesterday became Kenny Jackett’s second January signing, as the striker’s arrival from Bromley was confirmed.

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The recruitment work is continuing apace behind the scenes, with attention now turning to a trio of positions which Jackett believes still need strengthening.

Jackett would also like to add a midfielder to his central options, with the preference being for a new face with forward-thinking qualities to arrive.

And he also views the right-back area as a position which could be given a shake-up before the month is out.

Pompey are prepared to let Paul Downing leave this month. Picture: Nigel Keene

To do so, Jackett is going to need to reshape his playing options and move on staff from his current group of 26 first-team players.

Defender Paul Downing is among those who would be allowed to depart this month.

The 28-year-old has found himself totally frozen out of the first-team picture after arriving from Blackburn in the summer, not starting a league game since September.

Downing is disillusioned at his prospects and would be prepared to move on, despite having the security of the three-year he signed when being recruited.

Brett Pitman has been omitted from the squad for the EFL Trophy trip to Walsall and has been linked with a switch to Swindon and Plymouth, with his contract up in the summer.

Oli Hawkins is also currently finding game time hard to come by, with his last league start coming against Peterborough on December 7.

Pitman and Hawkins are among the 10 Pompey players whose contracts are up in the summer, along with the likes of Anton Walkes, Brandon Haunstrup, Christian Burgess, Lee Brown and out-of-favour Luke McGee.

The Blues have been linked with moves for the likes of Tranmere defender Manny Monthe, Shrewsbury’s Aaron Pierre and Bristol City’s Sammie Szmodics.