Portsmouth eyeing £1m-rated winger being pursued by Blackburn Rovers, Preston North End, Ipswich Town and Sunderland as Danny Cowley puts transfer plans in place

Owen Dale has been placed on Pompey’s transfer watchlist.

Wednesday, 30th June 2021, 4:00 pm
Updated Wednesday, 30th June 2021, 4:10 pm

Danny Cowley is a fan of the £1m-rated Crewe man, who is firmly on the head coach’s radar as he carries out his summer rebuild at Fratton Park.

But The News understands the Blues boss is not eyeing an imminent move for the winger, who made a big impression at Gresty Road last term.

Dale would instead likely fall into a continuity plan in the face of losing prized assets before the close of the summer transfer window.

Sign up to our Portsmouth FC newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

Reports emerged over the weekend linking Pompey with a bid for the in-demand 22-year-old, if wantaway Republic of Ireland international Ronan Curtis was to leave Fratton Park.

Curtis operates down the left flank with Dale operating on the right, however, and it’s in fact a departure for Marcus Harness which could action the move.

Harness is viewed as one of the most bankable assets in Cowley’s 16-man Pompey squad along with Curtis and John Marquis.

Owen Dale. (Photo by Nathan Stirk/Getty Images)
Owen Dale. (Photo by Nathan Stirk/Getty Images)

The 25-year-old has a year remaining on his existing agreement after his £800,000 arrival from Burton Albion in 2019, although the Blues have an option to extend that deal for another 12 months.

Harness started last season at a pace, bagging seven goals in his first 12 games - including a memorable hat-trick at Burton in October.

That had former chief executive, Mark Catlin, fielding plenty of calls over the former Coventry man’s potential availability before a drop in form - although he finished the season with eight league assists and 10 goals in all competitions.

There’s little doubt Harness still has a decent market value, with clubs looking to spend even off the back of the coronavirus pandemic.

Owen Dale. (Photo by Nathan Stirk/Getty Images)

Dale perfectly fits the bill as the type of player Cowley would look to bring in to bolster his right flank.

Last term was a breakthrough campaign for the former Altrincham man, who helped himself to 12 League One goals as Crewe finished 12th.

That form has alerted a host of clubs to his potential, with Blackburn, Ipswich, Preston, Wycombe and Sunderland all said to be interested.

Dale would command a decent fee, however, with his deal running until next year and clubs lining up to secure his services.

Pompey have shown they have money to spend, though, after their recent pursuit of Jayden Stockley, with any additional sales going straight back into Cowley’s transfer warchest.

The Blues have brought in four players so far this summer - Liam Vincent, Clark Robertson, Shaun Williams and Ryan Tunnicliffe.

A message from the Editor, Mark Waldron

The News has launched a subscription offer which gives you unlimited access to all of our Pompey coverage, starting at less than 14p a day.

You can subscribe here to get the latest news from Fratton Park - and to support our local team of expert Pompey writers.