Portsmouth transfer news: Notts County boss identifies problem with Blues’ pursuit of Kyle Wootton – and Rotherham and Hartlepool's interest in other prized assets

Pompey fans will rightly be wondering who Danny Cowley will turn to after Ellis Harrison’s move to Fleetwood was confirmed on Saturday afternoon.

The striker’s departure for an undisclosed fee frees up space in his budget as well as the Fratton Park forwards department – an area which will become even more sparse when Gassan Ahadme's exit is finalised in the coming days.

The Blues have already been linked with a few new front men this month, with Notts County’s Kyle Wootton and Swansea youngster Liam Cullen among the favourites.

But Magpies boss Ian Burchnall isn’t anticipating any suitable offers coming in for his 14-goal top scorer this month that would tempt them to part ways with their talisman.

In truth, Wootton is one of three in-form Meadow Lane players currently being spoken about as transfer speculation continues to accompany County’s bid to return to the Football League.

Ruben Rodrigues (Rotherham) and Callum Roberts (Hartlepool) are two others being linked with moves away this month.

Burchnall admitted every player has their price.

However, he cast major doubt on whether any club – including Pompey – would be able to stump up the sort money they would be expecting for their prized assets.

Pompey are keen on Notts County striker Kyle Wootton Picture: Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images

Speaking to Nottinghamshire Live ahead of today’s postponed game at Dover, the Magpies manager said: ‘Everybody has a price even if you are a Championship or Premier League club.

‘Whether I think a club is coming in with a realistic bid, I don't think so.

‘We'll see. Not in this window. But if something huge came in then we'd sit down and discuss it.

‘We have to have a plan for that. Should we lose somebody then we'd need somebody to come in to continue the work we are doing.

‘We don't want to leave ourselves short so we'll have contingency plans for every situation.

‘But I don't really anticipate a bid big enough.’

Wootton, who has bagged six goals in his past four games, is out of contract at the end of the season.

That would automatically reduce his January market value, with just six months remaining on his Meadow Lane deal, and allow his to leave on a free in the summer.

However, it appears County are prepared to play hard ball this month to keep their promotion-chasing squad together.

Indeed, it’s a stance which Christoffer and Alexander Reedtz – the owners of the club – emphasised this week in another interview with Nottinghamshire Live.

They said: ‘We understand the prospect of losing players at this important stage of the season is concerning to supporters and would therefore like to reaffirm our stance that, for any sale to be approved, the terms of the deal would need to be seen as significantly beneficial for the club and helpful towards our ambition of returning to the EFL as soon as possible.

‘In the interests of transparency, we have received no formal offers for any of our players and Ian is very much planning for the second half of the season with his current squad intact.’

A message from the Editor, Mark Waldron

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