Peterborough 'close in' on six-figure deal for ex-Portsmouth transfer target

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The National League star is set for a move to League One, despite previously receiving Fratton Park attention

Pompey’s former League One rivals Peterborough are reportedly closing in on a deal for National League rising star, and former Blues target, Chris Conn-Clarke.

With the transfer window now open, Conn-Clarke, 22, was set to be the subject of keen transfer interest after scoring 23 goals and registering 12 assists for Altrincham in the 2023/24 campaign.

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Pompey had been credited with an interest in the rising National League star but The News reported earlier this month that said interest had cooled with John Mousinho weighing up his potential attacking options ahead of the club’s return to the Championship.

Wigan, Mansfield, Ipswich and Hale End had also been previously linked with a move for the Northern Ireland youth international, but it would appear the much-admired star is now to be snapped up by the Blues 2023/24 season rivals Peterborough.

The Posh finished inside the top six in the EFL’s third-tier last season, losing to the eventual winners Oxford United in the semi-final play offs. This was their second year of play-off heart-break after losing to Sheffield Wednesday in the 2022/23 play-off semi-finals having been relegated to League One the season before.

They are now preparing for yet another promotion-challenging season with Conn-Clarke viewed as a welcome addition that can aid in their pursuit of Championship football. The 22-year-old played 47 games for the National League side last campaign and after accumulating 35 goal contributions, and sports journalist Alan Nixon now claims the Posh will have to pay £350,000 for Conn-Clarke’s signature.

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Conn-Clarke is yet to play above National League level and whilst he enjoyed a hugely impressive season with Alty, there is no denying that joining a side two divisions up - who are hopeful of rising yet another tier by the end of next season - will be exceptionally tough.

The forward sensation arrived from Fleetwood Town on a free transfer last summer and still has two years left on his current deal. However, Altrincham’s director of football previously confessed the club knew it would be difficult to keep hold of the rising star following such a successful season.

Speaking to Radio Alty, Rob Esteva said: “Everyone knows it’s going to be difficult for us to keep Chris, but it has to be right for the club as well as for him. We have received a couple of offers already, but they have been turned down. The reality is we won’t let him go if teams don’t meet our valuation, and the offers we have had so far don’t come close.

“It’s not crazy money we’re asking, it’s a realistic assessment of his worth, based on the benchmark of other players and the realisation that Chris has out-performed so many of them. It will be incredibly sad if he does go, but we always back ourselves, and I’m confident we will once more have one of the best attacks in the division next season, with or without Chris.”

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