‘Really good, young prospect’: Portsmouth boss responds to talk of move for Brighton midfielder touted for Cardiff City, Swansea City and Coventry City

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John Mousinho believes Marc Leonard is an emerging talent of potential.

But the Pompey boss insisted the reason he was present at Oxford United’s clash with Leonard’s Northampton side last night, was to run the rule over next week’s opponents.

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Reports emerged this week touting the Blues with a move for the Brighton prospect, who has also been linked with the likes of Coventry, Swansea and Cardiff.

The News understands Pompey are not currently looking to advance a move for the 22-year-old, who is on loan for the season with the Cobblers.

The Blues had Leonard on their lists of potential targets in the middle of the park last summer, but didn’t progress a deal as they looked in other areas.

Mousinho acknowledged the talent who’s scored four goals this season, including a eye-catching striker at Fratton Park earlier this month, is a promising player, however.

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He said: ‘Marc is a really good, young prospect, but one who is contracted to Brighton and playing for Northampton as far as we’re concerned. In terms of recruitment for me, that is way off my radar at the moment.’

News quickly emerged Mousinho was watching his former Oxford side take on Northampton, with reports surfacing during the eventual 2-2 draw. That led to plenty of speculation among fans about the focus of his scouting mission, in the wake of the Leonard reports emerging.

Mousinho stressed the reason he was at the Kassam Stadium was to run the rule over the U’s ahead of their Fratton visit next week.

He said: ‘Genuinely, I can say the reason I was at the Oxford game and focus of what I’m trying to do at the moment is opposition preparation. That’s particularly with regard to the fact we don’t have any Tuesday games.

‘Of course, if I pop up at an under-21 game or a League Two game, it’s probably to watch a player - but going to the Oxford game was all about making sure we’re ready to play Oxford next week.’

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