'Portsmouth put the foot down' - Midfielder reveals how Blues beat Crystal Palace, Stoke, Sunderland and Derby in race for his signature

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Pompey new-boy Terry Devlin has revealed the Blues’ determination to sign him and persistence convinced him to make the move to Fratton Park.

The highly-rated 19-year-old was a wanted man this summer, with Premier League, Championship and League One clubs all keeping tabs on the midfielder.

Brentford, Crystal Palace, Stoke, Sunderland, Derby, Port Vale and Lincoln were all reportedly keen on the Northern Ireland under-21 international following an impressive maiden season at Belfast side Glentoran.

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But it was Pompey who proved victorious in the race to sign Devlin, with the former Dungannon Swifts talent moving to PO4 on a three-year-deal and for a fee believed to be around £90,000.

His Blues arrival was the culmination of much hard work by Fratton Park duo Rich Hughes and Phil Boardman, who travelled to The Oval four times to monitor the teenager.

This week, head coach John Mousinho revealed his delight at landing the exciting prospect, who he believes can play a key role for Pompey this season.

And that enthusiasm and desire to bring Devlin to Fratton Park was certainly felt by the player, who claimed a move to the south coast was a ‘no-brainer’ as a result.

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Speaking to the Belfast Telegraph, the youngster said: ‘I’m looking forward to getting started, it will be tough but it’s also an exciting opportunity.

New Pompey midfielder Terry Devlin was snapped up from Irish League side GlentoranNew Pompey midfielder Terry Devlin was snapped up from Irish League side Glentoran
New Pompey midfielder Terry Devlin was snapped up from Irish League side Glentoran

Portsmouth were the club that was most keen to sign me, they really wanted me and outlined their plans to me.

‘It was a no-brainer call given the size of the club, their fanbase and their ambitions to get the club back where they belong.

‘They are ambitious and so am I. The main aim is promotion to the Championship.

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‘There was interest from other clubs but Portsmouth put the foot down and when they are so keen to sign me, it is hard to turn the opportunity down.’

Devlin will link up with his new team-mates on Monday as Mousinho’s troops report back for pre-season training.

He’s hoping his move across the water will lead to a senior call-up to the Northern Ireland international squad.

‘International football is the next step after hopefully I can establish myself in the Portsmouth team,’ added Devlin.

‘It would be nice to get a breakthrough to the senior panel.’