What Portsmouth's promotion rivals Sunderland, Ipswich, Peterborough and the rest have planned in the summer transfer market

Pompey face another season of trying to escape League One.

The Blues’ play-off semi-final defeat to Oxford earlier this month means they’re now planning for a fourth successive campaign in the third tier.

A return to the Championship for the first time since 2012 remains the target for Kenny Jackett’s side – but they aren’t the only ones.

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Promotion places will again be fierce – especially given how tight the table was when the 2019-20 season was suspended amid the coronavirus crisis.

Oxford and Fleetwood were both conquered by champions Wycombe in the play-offs and will be targeting another top-two challenge.

Then there’s the likes of Sunderland, Peterborough and Ipswich who will also be looking to improve.

Sides like Doncaster and Gillingham can't be forgotten, either. Meanwhile, the soundbites coming out of Blackpool suggest they’re gearing up for a charge at the Championship.

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Let’s not forget the three unconfirmed teams who will be relegated from the second tier. As things stand, they will be Barnsley, Luton and Hull with two matches remaining.

But we’ve decided to take a look at how the summer transfer market could pan out for the teams who are guaranteed to be in League One...


The Seasiders finished 13th in the table but are aiming for a promotion push under Neil Critchley.

The former Liverpool under-23s boss has already been active in the transfer market, bringing three players to Bloomfield Road.

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Winger Keshi Anderson has signed from Swindon, midfielder Oliver Sarkic has joined the Seasiders after leaving Burton and centre-back Marvin Ekpiteta has also moved to the club.

Blackpool are also reportedly interested in Rotherham forward Jerry Yates after he helped Swindon to the League Two title.


Donny will be looking for a way back into the play-offs after finishing ninth under Darren Moore in his first season at the helm.

Rovers have brought talent identification manager Adam Henshall off furlough as they plot their recruitment.

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The evergreen James Coppinger has penned a fresh one-year contract, meaning he will 40 by the time the campaign finishes.

They’ll be without 2019-20 top-scorer Kieran Sadlier, though, after he turned down a new deal at the Keepmoat.

Skipper Ben Whiteman was linked with Wigan before they went into administration but is likely to attract interest.


Steve Evans will be plotting a way to get the Gills into the top six after finishing 10th last term.

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They missed out on midfielder James Jones, with the ex-Crewe man instead joining Lincoln.

Evans said he spent a lot of time watching under-23s football before lockdown and will look to utilise the loan market this summer.

However, captain Max Ehmer has been linked with a free transfer to Bristol Rovers, while striker Mikael Mandron - who is also out of contract - is reportedly wanted by Aberdeen, Huddersfield and Swansea.


Joey Barton will be plotting another promotion charge after being beaten by Wycombe in the play-off semi-finals.

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The Cod Army have been linked with ex-Liverpool defender Jon Flanagan, who was released by Rangers earlier this summer.

Fleetwood are also reportedly chasing Jason Lowe, who has left Bolton Wanderers following their relegation.

Fylde coast neighbours Blackpool are also supposedly in the chase.


It’s been fairly quiet at Portman Road so far as the Tractor Boys also await confirmation on whether a salary cap will be introduced.

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Paul Lambert will undoubtedly be eyeing recruits, though, after Town’s disappointing 11th-place finish following their relegation from the Championship.

Ipswich seem keen to bolster their striking ranks this summer.

They’ve been linked with Sunderland’s Charlie Wyke and Bristol Rovers talisman Jonson Clarke-Harris.

The East Anglia outfit tied prized-asset Luke Woolfenden to a long-term deal earlier this month, having reportedly been wanted by Premier League sides previously.

Oxford United

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Karl Robinson’s side are still licking their wounds from their defeat to Wycombe in the play-off final at Wembley.

In the aftermath of that loss, the U’s boss conceded he’s unsure if he will be able to hold on to his better players.

Centre-back Rob Dickie is reportedly wanted by Championship duo Nottingham Forest and Fulham, while Cameron Brannagan is also likely to attract interest.

Robinson told the Oxford Mail he will need to replace those who depart ‘with the right players’.


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The Posh have launched ‘Operation Vengeance’ after missing out on the play-offs because of the unweighted points-per-game formula.

Darren Ferguson’s side are expected to be without 25-goal scorer Ivan Toney, though. Peterborough are expecting a bidding war from Premier League and Championship clubs for the prolific marksman.

They’ll look for a striker to replace Toney, while the Peterborough Telegraph reports they’re keen to bring Reece Brown to the club after impressing on loan from Huddersfield.

However, Josh Knight - who’s been on Pompey’s radar - isn’t expected to return to London Road following his loan spell from Leicester.


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The Black Cats will be desperate to escape the third tier at the third time of asking.

Like Pompey, Sunderland are fighting against a salary cap and yet to make any signings.

Phil Parkinson’s men reportedly are in talks with Bailey Wright in the hope he will return to the club.

The Australian impressed while on loan from Bristol City before he picked up a season-ending ankle injury just five games in.

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Nevertheless, Sunderland want him back at the Stadium of Light.

They’re also trying to persuade Jon Flanagan to sign a new contract. The Northern Ireland international is supposedly wanted by Birmingham and Coventry.

Keeper Jon McLaughlin has left for Rangers while Aiden McGeady will again not be part of Parkinson’s plans.

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