REVEALED: Portsmouth snub Championship interest in prized asset Marcus Harness - but Blackburn interest cooled

Pompey have rejected Championship interest in Marcus Harness.

Thursday, 13th January 2022, 1:00 pm

The News understands several clubs have this month enquired about signing the Blues’ leading scorer during the January transfer window.

However, they have been met with a firm hands-off message as Pompey strive to keep their prized asset.

Danny Cowley is convinced the play-offs remain a realistic target for his side – and views Harness as a pivotal presence.

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Indeed, the 27-year-old has been the driving force this season, rattling up 10 goals in a side which generally has struggled to score.

Harness has precisely double the haul of second-top scorer Ronan Curtis, who has registered five times.

Pompey have long been braced for January interest in the former Burton man considering his rich goal-scoring form and dynamic displays.

Unsurprisingly, several Championship clubs have stepped forward, although it now appears long-time admirers Blackburn have cooled.

Pompey top scorer Marcus Harness has proven to be in-demand among Championship clubs during the January transfer window. Picture: Graham Hunt/ProSportsImages

Crucially, Pompey possess a 12-month club option on Harness’ contract, enabling them to be comfortable in rejecting advances at the current time.

Certainly it would take at least double their £750,000 outlay on him in July 2019 for the Blues to be tempted to do business in January.

Cowley has, of course, repeatedly stressed that an offer too good to refuse could change their stance.

As it stands, however, no such eye-watering sums have been tabled.

It is believed Harness is comfortable with the situation and enjoying his football at Fratton Park under the Cowleys, while applying no pressure to be allowed to depart this month.

The Blues have also indicated the intention to activate their option, thereby retaining him until the summer of 2023.

Alternatively, Harness could leave for nothing on July 1 when his existing three-year deal ends – an unthinkable outcome for Pompey.

Still, even when the option is taken up, the Blues will come under pressure to cash in on the player this summer, particularly should they fail to achieve promotion.

By that stage, Harness is likely to want to test himself in the Championship after three productive seasons at Fratton Park, with suitors still hovering.

In the present, though, Pompey are prepared to snub January interest in the attacker as they eye 23 games to secure at least a League One play-off spot.

Yet they will find it hard to resist at the season’s end if they, once again, cannot find a way into the Championship.

Cowley’s men are currently eighth in League One, six points adrift of the play-offs with two games in hand on sixth-placed Oxford United.

A message from the Editor, Mark Waldron

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