The latest on fringe players' potential January departures as ex-Shrewsbury and Blackburn favourites poised for rare Portsmouth outings

Pompey have had no early enquires for any of their fringe players ahead of the January transfer window.

Monday, 7th December 2020, 5:30 pm
Updated Monday, 7th December 2020, 5:39 pm

But Kenny Jackett accepts the likes of Paul Downing and James Bolton must move on if the Blues are to recruit fresh faces next month.

Both defenders are poised to feature at Cheltenham in the second round of the Papa John's Trophy tomorrow night.

Despite signing three-year deals when arriving on free transfers in June 2019, from Blackburn and Shrewsbury respectively, the pair are firmly out of favour at Fratton Park.

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Downing hasn't played a League One game since September last year and has made just four appearances this season.

Jack Whatmough, Sean Raggett and Rasmus Nicolaisen are ahead in the centre-back pecking order.

Bolton, meanwhile, is third-choice right-back behind summer recruit Callum Johnson and Haji Mnoga.

The ex-Halifax man has also featured in four games and been on the bench once in the league.

James Bolton jogging at Plymouth's Home Park when he was left out of Pompey's match-day squad. Picture: Graham Hunt

Both would likely be open to departures in January to gain regular minutes elsewhere.

As things stand, Pompey have no spaces in their 22-man squad amid League One salary cap rules that were implemented at the start of the campaign.

It means they’ll have to operate a one-out, one-in policy if they want to sign a senior player when the window opens.

But the Blues haven’t had any interest for anyone on the periphery so far.

Pompey defender Paul Downing. Picture: Nigel Keene

Pompey boss Jackett said: ‘We haven't got any moves pending in terms of players going out but it is still early in December.

‘Whether there are any enquiries for our fringe players, we'll see.

‘It is something that everybody will be looking at and see if there are options for fringe players if they want to move.

‘At the moment, we haven't got any moves pending. No-one is set-up to go here, no-one is set-up to go there.

‘But to strengthen your squad and bring senior players in, you do have to move people out first.

‘They have a lot of experience and have been excellent pros.

‘They are waiting for their break here, which hasn't happened so far in our back four.

‘As we get closer to the window, our options will get clearer. But, as things stand, we haven't had any enquiries.’

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