Portsmouth keen on January outgoings - but who could join Anton Walkes through exit door?

It’s been a busy January transfer window to date for Pompey.

Wednesday, 15th January 2020, 5:30 am
Updated Friday, 17th January 2020, 3:46 pm

Three new arrivals have already checked in at Fratton Park – Steve Seddon, Cameron McGeehan (both on loan) and Reeco Hackett-Farichild (signed for undisclosed fee).

Other business is expected to be conducted before the window closes at 11pm on Friday, January 31.

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The News understands Barnsley right-back Dimitri Cavare is high up on the Blues’ wanted list – then there’s a desire to bring in a left-footed centre-half, with Tranmere’s Manny Monthe and Aaron Pierre (Shrewsbury) on the radar.

But with manager Kenny Jackett admitting more players will need to go to accommodate any further new additions, there’s as much interest in who could follow Walkes through the Pompey exit.

We take a look at some of those who have been linked with moves elsewhere and what the future could hold for them.

Brett Pitman

Brett Pitman has this month been linked with moves to Swindon and Plymouth

The former Pompey captain has been linked with a move away from Fratton Park during the January transfer window.

League Two Swindon and Plymouth have been credited with interest in a player who is out of contract at the end of the season.

However, those links have dried up in recent days.

Just hours after Pilgrims boss Ryan Lowe admitted his interest in Pitman, the Home Park side announced a loan deal for Blackpool front man Ryan Hardie until the end of the season.

Bryn Morris hasn't featured for Pompey this season

Meanwhile, it appears Swindon are still weighing up their options following top-scorer Eoin Doyle’s return to parent club Bradford.

The Robins remain keen on Doyle returning from the Bantams – but have also been linked with a move for out-of-favour Sunderland striker Will Grigg.

He would more than likely prove a cheaper option than Pitman, who is keen to see out the remainder of his three-year deal at Fratton Park.

Yet, like Pitman, the Northern Ireland international have reservations about stepping down to League Two.

To date, Pitman has made 16 appearances for Pompey this season.

He was omitted from the squad for last week’s EFL Trophy trip to Walsall, while missed Saturday’s win against Wimbledon because of sickness.

The forward is likely to remain on the fringe of things if no move materialises, which looks the most likely scenario during this transfer window.

Paul Downing

It’s hardly surprising, but Pompey are trying to offload Downing as they seek to reinvest in the central-defensive area.

A left-footed centre-back remains the Blues’ top priority this month – and it could cost the summer signing his place at the club, if there are any takers.

The fact that Jack Whatmough – out for nearly a year with a knee injury – was named in the Pompey squad for Saturday’s visit of AFC Wimbledon ahead of Downing shows how far the former Blackburn and Doncaster Rovers man has dropped down the pecking order at Fratton Park.

The 28-year-old was initially identified as the man to fill the void left by Matt Clarke.

However, after starting the opening eight matches of the campaign, it’s been downhill ever since, with Downing making just six more appearances.

In total, the defender has made 14 appearances this season – with none in the league since September 17 against Burton.

Pompey are open to offers – whether it be a loan or a permanent deal.

And it’s likely a player who is keen to get back to playing regularly will be elsewhere come February 1.

Luke McGee

But the key to any move is that ‘suitable’ term.

Cheltenham were keen on ending the former Spurs shot-stopper’s Fratton Park nightmare at the start of the window as they looked to find a replacement for injured No1 Scott Flinders.

It is understood both clubs overcame an initial hurdle that centred on Cheltenham’s contribution to McGee’s wages, with an agreement reached until the end of the season.

However, Pompey’s subsequent request for a sizeable promotion bonus should the high-flying Robins go up from League Two scuppered the arrangement.

And since discussions ended, the Robins have quickly turned their attentions elsewhere, snapping up Wigan keeper Owen Evans until the end of the season.

That has left McGee in limbo yet again, with the keeper desperate for first-team football – a desire not influenced financially.

Given the fact the former Blues No1 has been available since Alex Bass overtook him in the pecking order last season, it looks unlikely he’ll get his move this month.

He is out of contract at the end of the season, though – small comfort for the 2017 arrival.

Bryn Morris

The unfortunate midfielder hasn’t been linked with a move away from Fratton Park – but his Blues future is in doubt.

Injury and a lower abdomen complaint have restricted the former England youth international to just eight games since his arrival on a permanent deal from Shrewsbury last January.

And no time-frame exists for a potential comeback following surgery in Munich at the end of last year.

The 23-year-old signed a two-and-a-half year deal when he swapped the Shrews for the Blues.

Could an agreement be reached on the remainder of that contract?

Craig MacGillivray

The Pompey keeper was linked with a move to Scottish giants Rangers in December.

And rumours regarding his Fratton Park future went into overdrive when the 27-year-old lost his place in the Blues’ starting line-up for the New Year’s Day trip to Gillingham.

He’s since been made to watch from the sidelines as Alex Bass establishes himself as manager Kenny Jackett’s current preferred choice between the posts, with an outing against Walsall in the EFL Trophy his last run-out.

With 82 Pompey appearances under his belt since arriving on a free in the summer of 2018, MacGillivray will understandably be frustrated at suddenly finding himself on the bench.

However, there’s no desire from either the player of the club for a parting of the ways.

Ross McCrorie

Rangers have the option to recall the Scotland under-21 international early from his loan spell at Fratton Park.

The midfielder, who has operated at right-back for Pompey this season, jetted out with Steven Gerrard’s side for a warm-weather training camp in Dubai earlier this month.

That heightened speculation of a possible return to Ibrox.

But the Gers boss admitted McCrorie’s inclusion was purely to ‘manage’ his rehabilitation following two hamstring injuries during his time so far on the south coast.

Despite the loan arrival of midfielder Cameron McGeehan, plus the continued pursuit of a right-back, the Blues are keen for the player to remain beyond this month as they aim to be well-stocked for the business end of the season.

They are confident McCrorie will add to the 15 appearances he has made for the League One club between now and the campaign’s end.