Oxford United closing in on capture of Portsmouth striker

Oxford United are closing in on Ellis Harrison.

By Neil Allen
Tuesday, 15th June 2021, 9:20 am
Oxford United are close to completing a move for Pompey's Ellis Harrison. Picture: Joe Pepler
Oxford United are close to completing a move for Pompey's Ellis Harrison. Picture: Joe Pepler

Pompey are keen to offload the centre-forward this summer, with the U’s and Fleetwood having registered interest.

However, it is understood Harrison favours a move to the Kassam Stadium – and a deal is almost within reach.

The 27-year-old has yet to feature under Danny Cowley, being sidelined with knee ligament damage before the head coach’s March arrival.

Nonetheless, the Blues have been open to moving on Harrison as they seek to overhaul a playing squad which finished a hugely disappointing eighth in League One last season.

In the case of the former Bristol Rovers man, he remains one of Pompey’s top earners following a £425,000 switch from Ipswich in June 2019.

Removing him from the wage bill would allow Cowley more flexibility in recruitment, although there would remain another 13 players under contract.

Still, it is clear the likeable striker has no future at Fratton Park and a separation would suit all parties.

Harrison has netted 16 times in 70 appearances for the Blues, yet there have long been question marks over his goal-scoring effectiveness.

He last registered from open play in League One in September 2020 against Wigan, while four of his six-goal tally last term came from the penalty spot.

In fairness, the selfless Harrison offers a more team-oriented approach in attack, serving as a focal point to bring others into play, while delivers an outstanding presence in the air.

However, as a strike partnership, it never quite gelled with John Marquis, despite the pair being close friends off the pitch.

The duo spent two seasons together at Fratton Park after arriving within five days of each other in the summer of 2019.

Yet they couldn’t inspire Pompey for a Championship return, sparking the current Blues clear-out.

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