Portsmouth readied for Swansea interest in Marcus Harness with Championship clubs hovering to pounce for one-time Blackburn target

Pompey are braced for Swansea interest in Marcus Harness.

Thursday, 5th May 2022, 12:30 pm
Updated Thursday, 5th May 2022, 12:52 pm

The Blues are to activate the 26-year-old’s contract option to keep him at Fratton Park for a further 12 months.

In addition, that will entitle them to a transfer fee should anticipated Championship attention emerge when the transfer window reopens.

Harness has scored 31 times in 134 appearances since arriving at Fratton Park in July 2019 from Burton.

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This term marks the most prolific season of his career, netting 12 times to finish as Pompey’s second-top scorer behind loanee George Hirst (15).

Such eye-catching form will only strengthen resolve among Championship clubs to sign the talented attacker, who has interested Blackburn and Swansea in the past.

The Swans, in particular, have held long-standing admiration for Harness, registering their interest during last January’s transfer window.

During that period, The News understands Pompey rejected a bid from an unnamed club for his services as they focused on retaining their best players for a play-off bid.

Marcus Harness has been in fine goal-scoring form for Pompey this season, netting 12 times. Picture: Paul Thompson/ProSportsImages

Although not confirmed that the club’s identity was Swansea, it has been established that head coach Russell Martin is monitoring Harness’ progress.

The Swans are currently 15th in the Championship ahead of the final round of fixtures, lying a disappointing 11 points adrift of the play-off positions.

And Harness has been identified as a potential signing to reinvigorate the former Premier League club’s promotion ambition next term.

Kenny Jackett paid around £750,000 for the winger during a summer which also saw the costly purchases of Ellis Harrison and John Marquis.

Pompey’s spending power had been enabled by the sales of Matt Clarke (Brighton) and Jamal Lowe (Wigan) that 2019 close season.

Certainly if Harness is to depart this summer, the Blues will seek to recoup at least their outlay on a player whose value has since clearly escalated.

The ex-Burton man also represents Pompey’s most saleable asset, particularly as Curtis has endured a tremendously disappointing season after previously attracting interest.

However, by activating their option to keep Harness, it will effectively mean the player has entered the final 12 months of his deal.

In turn, that will lower his transfer market value, ensuring Championship clubs can recruit him for a reduced fee as the clock ticks down on becoming a free agent.

While Pompey are loath to lose Harness this summer, Danny Cowley will be allowed to use any fee received to strengthen his playing squad.

That in itself could persuade the Blues to do business, while no doubt Harness himself will be keen to test himself in the Championship – should interest come to fruition.

A message from the Editor, Mark Waldron

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