Indeed, as the former Cardiff and Bristol City midfielder was preparing to be unveiled, the Sheffield Star were reporting that released Rotherham winger Mikel Miller could be following the 31-year-old to Fratton Park.
Cowley had been linked with a move for the Stadium of Light youth product as his contract with the Wearsiders approached its expiry date.
Early indications suggested the 26-year-old would be tempted to make the free transfer move.
Yet Gooch had a fan at Sunderland in new boss Alex Neil, who made him a mainstay in his side as the Black Cats earned League One promotion via the play-offs.
Meanwhile, Swansea emerged as strong contenders for his signature, which put Pompey further down the pecking order.
In the end, though, it was Neil who won the battle, convincing the American to extend his 16-year stay in the north east.
Pompey will continue to look to reinforce the right wing-back role Gooch has often been deployed in at the Stadium of Light following Mahlon Romeo’s return to Millwall and subsequent move to Cardiff.
There might also be a need to strengthen out on the left wing, if Ronan Curtis makes an expected Fratton Park exit this summer.
And according to our sister paper in Sheffield, Miller is an option Danny Cowley is exploring.
The Blues’ interest is reportedly not as advanced as others who are keen on the free agent.
Plymouth, Fleetwood and Burton are all believed to have held talks with the 26-year-old, who was not offered a new deal by Millers boss Paul Warne at the end of the 2021-22 season.
Yet, the same report claims the versatile Miller would be keen on a move to Fratton Park, despite Lincoln and Cambridge also holding an interest in his services.
Miller had been with Rotherham since July 2020, after he moved to the New York Stadium from Hamilton on a free transfer.
He made 39 appearances for Rotherham, scoring four goals.
The Londoner was loaned out to Northampton over the second half of the 2020-21 season.
Meanwhile, hamstring issues hampered his progress over the second half of last term.
Nevertheless, he leaves the Millers with a League One promotion medal after 23 league appearances last season and a Papa John’s Trophy winner’s medal following Rotherham’s 4-2 extra-time win against Sutton United in April – a game Miller started.