Transfer gossip: Portsmouth in battle with Ipswich Town for Preston North End midfielder following Wigan Athletic stay

Pompey have been linked with a move for Preston midfielder Tom Bayliss.

By Jordan Cross
Monday, 23rd May 2022, 5:00 pm

And The News understands Danny Cowley is a fan of the former Wigan and Coventry talent.

Ipswich Town are said to be rivalling the Blues in the chase for the 23-year-old’s signature, after being transfer listed at Deepdale.

Pompey are in the market for another midfielder this summer, as Cowley undertakes a busy period reshaping his squad.

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The Londoner is looking for a player with intelligence to do a job of sitting in the middle of the park and promoting play.

Bayliss is certainly capable of filling that role, with Pompey first linked with a move for the former England under-19 international last summer.

The Leicester-born talent spent last season on loan at Wigan, as they picked up the League One title.

Bayliss made 16 appearances for Leam Richardson’s side after making the move to the DW Stadium towards the end of the summer window.

Tom Bayliss

He came through the ranks at Coventry where he made 73 appearances across two campaigns, before moving to Preston in 2019 for a fee which was believed to be in the region of a club record £1.8m

Bayliss failed to kick on in Lancashire, however, making 21 appearances with just two league starts arriving before his Wigan loan exit.

His existing deal runs to next summer, but he now looks set to move on before then.

Daily Mirror journalist, Darren Witcoop, is reporting Fratton Park or Portman Road are two possible destinations for the player.

Cowley is certainly an admirer of Bayliss the quality he offers on the ball.

Ipswich are a powerful financial force to go up against, however, as they have shown since their American takeover last year.

Pompey have Louis Thompson, Ryan Tunnicliffe, Joe Morrell and Jay Mingi as contracted midfield players for next season.

Cowley would like to have one more option in that area, however.

Pompey have already been linked with the likes of St Mirren’s Ethan Erhahon, Oxford United’s Alex Gorrin and Leicester City’s Callum Wright, who all operate centrally.

Matt Butcher has also been mentioned as he leaves Accrington, but The News understands a move for the Denmead talent looks unlikely to advance.