Portsmouth transfer news: Why has it gone quiet? What's the latest on Pompey's Teddy Bishop interest? Will any triallists sign? And what else can we expect from the Blues in the transfer window?

It’s all gone rather quiet at Pompey in the transfer arrivals front.

Friday, 9th July 2021, 4:45 pm
Updated Friday, 9th July 2021, 4:50 pm

So we decided to pick the brains on Blues writer Will Rooney to see what was going on.

Here’s what he had to say on the eve of Pompey’s pre-season trip to the Hawks.

Q It’s all gone quiet again on the transfer front, why is that?

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It was initially quiet and then we had a bit of a flurry of free signings and now, again, things have cooled down.

I think, if you look at it, the three frees that Pompey signed – Clark Robertson, Shaun Williams, Ryan Tunnicliffe – were obviously all available, there were no other parties involved.

Now, maybe the players Danny Cowley has identified are attached to clubs – whether that be loanees or permanent signings.

That obviously means there’ll be some sort of domino effect.

From left: Michael Jacobs, Danny Cowley, Teddy Bishop and Ronan Curtis
From left: Michael Jacobs, Danny Cowley, Teddy Bishop and Ronan Curtis

We know the Euros have had an impact this summer, particularly on Premier League clubs.

And although the players Pompey will be interested in are not in these club’s Premier League plans, they’re still in their pre-season plans.

I think that might be a reason why things are being held up.

Danny Cowley has also got his players back on the training pitch and his focus has shifted a little bit towards that as well, whereas in the previous weeks it was fully on recruitment,

While he’s back out on the grass, you’re not taking phone calls from agents and clubs etc so that probably plays a part as well – even know behind the scenes we know a lot is going on.

Q Pompey continue to be linked with players, with Ipswich’s Teddy Bishop the latest. What can you tell us about that?

I do know that Danny Cowley has tracked his career and is an admirer.

He sees him as a number eight/10, which does fit the bill because we know Pompey are short in central midfield and we know that a number 10 is required this summer as well.

Whether he’s that mercurial, quintessential No10 that fans really crave is a different question, but Teddy Bishop is definitely a player who Danny Cowley knows about.

He’s always been highly regarded at Ipswich and I think some fans there will be surprised that Paul Cook is shifting him on.

But just like the players who were released by Pompey, they are players associated with failure – and Bishop’s had his injury problems, albeit he played 30-plus games for the Tractor Boys last season and he’s probably proven that he’s over those.

It’s one to keep on top of really.

Q Does any deal depend on Michael Jacobs?

We know Michael Jacobs has had conversations with Ipswich – Danny Cowley has come out and admitted that.

He’s not fit yet, though, so that potential move won’t be any time soon. You’d imagine Ipswich would want him fit before they get him.

With Bishop, he was out of contract and I think Ipswich took the option up on his deal. I assume that was to get some sort of fee this summer or perhaps it is to trade with a player like Michael Jacobs.

Bishop is clearly surplus to requirements but I don’t think Jacobs is surplus to requirements as such at Pompey.

We know, when he’s fit, he’s a top, top player. Of the 12 games he started last season, Pompey won 10 of them, which shows what a top League One player he is.

But Danny Cowley has concerns about his fitness.

He said he could play in the Championship now no problem if he didn’t have those fitness concerns, so that might be a niggling doubt for Danny.

It is a bit of a surprise about Jacobs given the potential for Ronan Curtis to leave this summer.

If both of those left you’d be two left-sided wingers short.

But a bit like Bishop, it might be one for later in the window.

Once he’s fully fit, things might accelerate from there.

Q Eight triallists were used against QPR in midweek and more are likely to be involved against the Hawks. What’s the chances of any of them being signed?

There might be a couple who will sign.

It’s hard, though. It’s hard for a triallist at a top League One club to earn a deal.

You’re probably looking at someone who has been an established league player who has either had injuries or hasn’t played much for whatever reason but is still good enough to play League One football.

I’ve said it before, dropping from League One to League Two isn’t that big for players, but how many players would be willing to drop down from the Championship and go on trial at a League One club?

I don’t know. But if they are good enough, Danny Cowley has said he’ll take them on.

They’ve got a superb opportunity because we know it’s a massive season and they could potentially come down and etch themselves in Pompey folklore – and that’s something they’ve got to think about.

That’s a dilemma some triallists might have but first and foremost they have to do enough to impress Danny Cowley to be offered that deal.

Q The new season is now less than a month away, so what else can we expect from Pompey in the transfer window? How many more does Danny Cowley want? What are his key areas of interest?

I don’t think Pompey’s squad will be fully assembled by the start of the season – Danny Cowley has acknowledged that.

Things are moving slowly now.

I think he is prepared to wait for the right targets to come up rather than get players in who maybe aren’t as good.

Would you have time to work with them on the training ground and impart your ideas but are they going to be as good?

In terms of key areas, you’re still looking at a couple of central midfielders – there’s only the two under contract at the moment.

Another striker is still needed, after missing out on Jayden Stockley.

Danny Cowley, ideally, would like a target man that is mobile but those are difficult to find and he might have to wait now until later in the window.

A No10 is someone he definitely wants – a real, proper quintessential No10 who can finally pull the strings and make things happen in the hole rather than someone giving energy and legs, like Kenny Jackett preferred, but lacked that bit of spark and creativity.

It worked okay away from home, but at Fratton Park teams sit back a bit more and those type of players can struggle, especially if you don’t have a target man up front or runners going beyond him.

And then you’re looking at another left back and centre-back to provide competition, as well as a right-back.

The centre-back position is not an issue at the minute but Danny Cowley wants two for every position.

So there’s still plenty of work for Danny to do but I’m sure he’s relishing the prospect.

Q You mentioned the domino effect earlier. Is that a reason why further business might go beyond the start of the season and nearer to the end of the window?When I was writing a piece on Ronan Curtis this week – obviously Blackburn are in for him and they could potentially be selling Adam Armstrong to Southampton – I was reading some Danny Cowley quotes from his first press conference following their pre-season return.

He said ‘Ronan would be with us for pre-season and the start of the season and then we’ll go from there’, which suggests he’s expecting a Curtis bid to come later in the window.

So you’d think he’d have a plan in place if that happened.

Danny Cowley would quite like to keep Ronan Curits because he likes him as a player, he likes his attitude, he thinks he’s misunderstood – but we know Ronan Curtis wants to go to the Championship and Danny knows that himself.

That’s the one player you would look at who might be sold, while there was interest in Ellis Harrison from Oxford which could again be resurrected.

Then there’s what if Pompey can get the right front men in? There’s been interest in Marcus Harness in the past, but you’d like to think Danny would keep Harness and find a way for him to fulfil his potential.

There’s obviously Michael Jacobs and then he might have to make a decision on Reeco Hackett-Fairchild if he doesn’t he think is up to playing in the top half of League One.

There’s still a lot going on.

It’s quiet at the minute but things will start kicking into gear again soon.