Ex-Portsmouth-linked boss 'close to agreeing' League One deal as ex-Blues target signs new Bundesliga deal

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Former Pompey targets suffer mixed fortunes as one lands contract extension and another departs League One role

It’s three weeks to go before the summer transfer window kicks-off with John Mousinho counting down the days until he can strengthen his squad ahead of Pompey’s Championship return.

After released ten League-One title-winning stars earlier this month, the Blues head coach has been eyeing up replacements around the pitch that will aid in next year’s campaign against the likes of Sunderland, Millwall and Plymouth Argyle. All has not been lost for the released stars, however, with fan-favourite Joe Rafferty already signing a deal with Rotherham United that will see him once again competing for promotion.

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With many more changes set to emerge in as the summer months progress, here is the latest news from Pompey’s EFL rivals...

Pompey-linked boss ‘close to agreeing’ League One deal

Darrell Clarke is to leave the Cheltenham Town imminently and is now close to becoming the new Barnsley boss, according to Gloucestershire Live. The 46-year-old joined the Robins at the end of September 2023 and has led 39 games. At the time he took over the side, the Robins were without a win or a goal in their opening ten league games and looked certain for relegation.

There was an almost immediate improvement but ultimately the side were beaten 2-1 at Stevenage on the final day of the season, confirming their drop back down to League Two when a win would have kept them afloat. Barnsley, on the other hand, reached the League One semi-final plays but ultimately lost to Bolton having parted ways with Neill Collins in April.

Clarke, who was linked with the Pompey role following Danny Cowley’s departure last year, has one year left on his current contract but talks over an extended deal stalled. The latest reports now indicate that a six-figure compensation fee will be required to bring the 46-year-old to Oakwell and he could well become the second Robins boss in two years to leave the role to take over at Barnsley, with Michael Duff leading the Tykes to the play-off finals 12 months ago.

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The ex-Port Vale and Salisbury boss was previously linked with a move to Fratton Park following Danny Cowley’s dismissal in January 2023.

Former Blues target signs Bundesliga contract

The former Pompey managerial target Daniel Stendel has signed a contract extension with the 2. Bundesliga side Hannover 96, despite being in contention to return to his former role with Barnsley. Stendel is manager of the Hannover reserves who have just won their league and has today confirmed that he has signed a new three-year deal.

According to reports on Barnsley Chronicle, Stendel was tempted with a return to the Reds - with whom he secured promotion into League One in 2019 - but had reservations about leaving his family in Germany once again, or relocating them. He is also thought to have had doubts about the club’s strategy and transfer policy.

The Oakwell Stadium side sacked Neill Collins a month ago, following his failure to deliver a place in the League One play-off finals, but it now appears Darrell Clarke will soon be announced as the new head coach.

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50-year-old Stendel headed to Barnsley in 2018 before managing Scottish Premiership club Hearts for six months in the 2019/20 season. He then headed to Nancy but was sacked after four months and ultimately returned to Hannover. The German head coach was also the heavy favourite to take over at Fratton Park following the departure of Kenny Jackett in March 2021. However, while he was initially keen at the possibility of returning to England, Stendel did not wish to accept a deal that was due to only last until the end of the Blues’ 2020/21 campaign.

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