Portsmouth transfer news: What Danny Cowley's striker hunt admission says about his interest in Aston Villa youngster Cameron Archer and Notts County's Kyle Wootton

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Danny Cowley has admitted his January search for a striker will probably see him go down the loan route.

He also revealed that reinforcing his options up front remains his top priority this month – despite his midfield resources narrowing following Miguel Azeez’s return to Arsenal.

His loan admission will likely see the Blues end any interest they had in bringing Notts County striker Kyle Wootton to the club this month – a player whose 14 goals this term had seen him scouted by the Fratton Park outfit.

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However, Cowley’s striker update adds further weight to their interest in Aston Villa youngster Cameron Archer, who was on the bench for Steven Gerrard’s side in their 2-2 draw against Manchester United in the Premier League.

The 20-year-old has seen himself be part of the Villa match-day squad for four of their past five games in all competitions as he acts as back-up for Danny Ings and Ollie Watkins.

Yet the talented youngster has failed to come off the bench for any of those matches – and could be available for a temporary move away from the Villains if they can add to their striker pole between now and the end of the month.

Cowley reiterated to The News after Saturday’s defeat to MK Dons that he’s prepared to hold his nerve in the hunt for a new front man, as the clamour intensifies for attacking reinforcements.

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He repeated that sentiment in his post-match interview with BBC Solent.

Cameron Archer, left, and Kyle Wootton have both been linked with moves to PompeyCameron Archer, left, and Kyle Wootton have both been linked with moves to Pompey
Cameron Archer, left, and Kyle Wootton have both been linked with moves to Pompey

But while Blues fans have seen the likes of Wigan, Bolton and Charlton splash the cash on new forwards this month, Cowley admitted another loan would be his best bet of bolstering his forward options.

When asked whether Azeez’s Arsenal return would mean a new midfielder arriving this month, the Pompey manager said: ‘I think we know what we need.

‘We want to improve the top end of the pitch if we can – and we’re probably going to need a loan to do that.

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‘So, yeah, we know what we want, we know the players that we want and the supporters would like to have got him in at the beginning of January, but they’re not always available and it’s not always possible.

‘I think we’ve done well in moving some players out that needed to move out and play games for their career and that’s obviously created some finance.

‘Now it’s about us trying to spend it intelligently.

‘I get it, everyone wants to spend it now but there might be a better player tomorrow.

‘So sometimes you’ve just got to be aware of the market and make intelligent decisions.’

Pompey currently have one loan space left in their squad.

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Gassan Ahadme’s departure, plus Azeez’s exit, meant only Gavin Bazunu, Mahlon Romeo and George Hirst remained from the summer loan intake.

However, Hayden Carter’s arrival from Blackburn on Saturday until the end of the season has taken that number up to four.

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