Portsmouth rivals prepare six-figure bid for midfielder as Crystal Palace target Norwich City ace

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Pompey’s fellow promotion companions Oxford United have joined the race for Premier League sensation

There is just one final match to be played before next season’s Championship teams are confirmed and Pompey find out who all their 2024/25 divisional rivals will be.

Following last week’s League One play-off final, the Blues and Derby County are set to be joined in the EFL second-tier by Oxford United with the Us beat Bolton 2-0 at Wembley. Now, all that awaits is the Championship play-off final where Pompey’s fiercest south coast rivals Southampton will take on Leeds United in a bid to win the final Premier League spot for the 2024/25 season, heading back up to the top division at the first time of asking.

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Ahead of the final, here is the latest news from Pompey’s soon-to-be Championship competitors...

Pompey rivals join race for Premier League star

Off the back of their triumphant Wembley trip, Oxford are now considering how they can best bolster their squad ahead of next season’s Championship campaign. According to reports from the Daily Record (via the 72) the Us have identified Brighton and Hove Albion’s Marc Leonard as a key target.

Leonard, 22, has spent the last two years on loan with Northampton Town but is set to return to the Amex Stadium this summer ahead of the upcoming transfer window. He is, however, unlikely to break into the current starting XI at Brighton and is therefore seeking game time elsewhere. It remains to be seen how Roberto De Zerbi’s exit from the Premier League club will impact Leonard’s potential departure as the Seagulls hunt for a new manager.

The reports from the Record indicate that, with the race for Leonard’s signature heating up, the Us are prepared to cough-up a six-figure sum in an attempt to bring him to the Kassam Stadium. The midfielder joined the Cobblers on loan in 2022, helping them win League Two promotion and he has since gone on to make 97 appearances for Brady’s side across all competitions, scoring six goals in the process.

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Pompey have previously been linked with a move for the midfielder but such interest has cooled with other sides such as Preston, Sheffield United and Hull City also keeping tabs in on the ex-Scotland youth international.

Crystal Palace eye Norwich City ace

Crystal Palace are reportedly interested in signing Norwich City’s Gabriel Sara. Claims from the Brazilian publication UOL have said the the player’s good season in the Championship have attracted interest from Premier League clubs with Oliver Glasner’s reformed side mentioned.

Norwich missed out on a place in the Championship play-off final following their 4-0 defeat to Leeds at Elland Road and will now continue to compete in the second-tier next campaign. However, they could well do so without the Brazilian attacking midfielder who has seen interest from AS Roma as well as the Eagles.

Journalist Andre Hernan claims that both clubs had got in touch for the signing but it was the Eagles who sought more details about the conditions for a deal. At this stage, there is little information on how much Glasner’s side would be likely to pay for the player but he is valued by Transfermarkt at €16m (£14m), having been bought by the Canaries for €10.5m from Sao Paulo in 2022.

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Sara, 24, was a huge addition to Norwich City’s attacking make-up this season and provided 14 goals and 13 assists in 53 appearances across all competitions and with the Eagles likely to lose several key attacking figures this summer, they will be quickly looking for reliable and formidable replacements.

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