Portsmouth deliver transfer fee promise in bid to compete with Sheffield Wednesday, Ipswich Town, Charlton Athletic, Oxford United & Co next season

Pompey are ready to up their transfer spending to get the key additions Danny Cowley needs this summer.

By Jordan Cross
Friday, 13th May 2022, 4:55 am

Pompey have shifted their focus to landing young players on the rise, over more senior players stepping down from a higher level.

They paid Sunderland £200,000 to bring in Denver Hume in January, with the left-back seen as the kind of asset who can be improved while being ready for senior involvement.

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Cullen promised there will be money made available to Cowley for similar additions, in what promises to be another busy period of activity.

He said: ‘If you’re looking for players who are first-team ready and they are in contract, then it’s inevitable fees will be required.

‘So, yes, that is part of our stated transfer strategy going forward.

‘If we can identify those players we are ready to go and are available, we accept there will be fees required.

Pompey CEO Andy Cullen Picture: Habibur Rahman

‘We are prepared to back that if we can get things agreed.

‘We know there will be players who fit the bracket of fees being required or compensation being required.

‘So we’re not being naive about the way thing will turn out on that front.

‘Ronan Curtis and Marcus Harnes were young players who fees were paid for.

‘If that’s the market you want to operate in, fees will be required.

‘That’s not to say that we will look exclusively at young players, you need to get the balance right with older experience as well.

‘But in terms of our investment strategy and in terms of paying fees, that’s definitely the way forward as we see it.’

Although being prepared to pay fees for the right additions, Cullen feels there will be an opportunity to also bring in promising talent who won’t come at a premium.

His time as executive director at MK Dons tells him there’s certainly the potential to do that with Matt O’Riley, who joined Celtic for £1.5m in January a standout example.

Cowley’s recruitment team are scouring the non-league game for potential gems as well as Premier League and Championship under-23 squads, with the ambition to follow a similar route.

Cullen added: ‘There will be other younger players maybe up and coming who are released as well, who become available to you.

‘At MK we had to pay a small compensation fee (to Fulham) for Matt O’Riley - 12 months later he ended up going to Celtic for a big figure.

‘There was always a younger player at MK, Warren O’Hora, we had on a season-long loan (from Brighton) and halfway through were able to convert that to a permanent.

‘Again it wasn’t cost heavy, so there are those younger players as well where you can do that.’