Unlikely Portsmouth hopes finally extinguished as former favourite set to seal switch to Blackburn - but not Ipswich

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George Hirst’s next destination appears to be settled as he reportedly closes in on a switch to Blackburn.

The future of the striker has been the subject of ongoing speculation throughout the summer.

At one stage Pompey felt they were firmly in the running for another loan arrangement following the 23-year-old’s impressive Fratton Park spell last term.

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League One rivals Ipswich were also in contention, having a bid turned down.

However, Hirst’s preference has long been for another shot at the Championship after suffering a frustrating time previously with Rotherham.

While Danny Cowley moved on to instead sign Joe Pigott, Colby Bishop and Dane Scarlett as his striking options, the Leicester man has been weighing up interest.

The outcome is expected to be a season-long loan to Blackburn, who presently sit 10th in the Championship.

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Manager Jon Dahl Tomasson has already added one-time Pompey loanee Dom Hyam to his ranks, following the central defender’s recruitment from Coventry.

Former Pompey loanee George Hirst is to join Blackburn. Picture: Jason Brown/ProSportsImagesFormer Pompey loanee George Hirst is to join Blackburn. Picture: Jason Brown/ProSportsImages
Former Pompey loanee George Hirst is to join Blackburn. Picture: Jason Brown/ProSportsImages

Now they’re sealing a move for Hirst ahead of the end of the transfer window, which shuts at 11pm tomorrow.

Reportedly the agreement will include an option to buy, with Leicester tying him to a new deal before his exit.

Realistically, Pompey’s hopes of a reunion with the popular Hirst ended when Scarlett was signed from Spurs on a season-long loan.

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The England under-19 international has subsequently enjoyed an impressive start to life on the south coast, netting in his last two appearances.

It took Hirst a little longer to win over the Fratton faithful, with it being three months until he registered a first Blues goal.

However, the Leicester forward ended the campaign with 15 goals in 46 appearances as he finished as Pompey’s top scorer.

That impressive stint restored the reputation of Hirst, who had previously failed to score in 34 league appearances for Leicester, Sheffield Wednesday and Rotherham.

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As a consequence of his morale-boosted Pompey stint, he eyed the Championship as his next move rather than another season in League One.

Of the Blues’ new-look strikeforce, Bishop, a summer signing from Accrington, is currently leading scorer with five.

Pigott (one) and Scarlett (two) have also been among the goals as Cowley’s side find themselves top of League One after the opening month of the campaign.

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