What sort of fee could Portsmouth net for Blackburn, Reading, Derby and Cardiff-linked Ronan Curtis?

It's looking like a departure that will happen at some stage this summer.

Wednesday, 19th May 2021, 5:30 pm
Updated Wednesday, 19th May 2021, 5:47 pm

Despite not even two weeks passing since Pompey's 2020-21 season finished, all the key ingredients are in place for the latest potential transfer saga to ensue.

Another campaign confined to League One, a player who's not hidden his ambitions play at a higher level and a head coach prepared to sell assets to raise funds all adds up to the fact that Ronan Curtis has highly likely played his final game for the Blues.

In fairness to the winger, he can't be blamed for wanting to go and test himself in the Championship.

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After three years in the third tier, scoring 40 goals in 142 games, now's the time for Curtis to move on as Danny Cowley begins his revolution.

Granted, large sections of fans won't be too bothered if he does depart if the mood on social media’s anything to go by.

Still, Curtis is the club's most valuable commodity with an outstanding record in League One.

Cowley, Mark Catlin and new chief executive Andrew Cullen will have a valuation in mind that must be met before the Irishman is sold.

Ronan Curtis. Picture: Joe Pepler

After all, with two years left on his PO4 contract, the Blues still hold plenty of the bargaining chips.

That could potentially mean that, just like with Jamal Lowe two years ago, there might be a protracted period of wrangling.

In the summer of 2019, Pompey were steadfast regarding their position on Lowe when Wigan came knocking. The winger wouldn't be flogged until the Blues were happy with the fee.

That same window Gavin Whyte also earned a move from League One to the Championship, joining Cardiff City from Oxford.

Having spent just a year at the Kassam Stadium after arriving from Irish Premiership outfit Crusaders, he moved to the south Wales side for a reported fee of £2m.

Coincidentally, Cardiff are one side who have shown interest in Curtis in the past. Manager Mick McCarthy’s previously working with the wide man when in charge of the Republic of Ireland.

Yet whether it's the Bluebirds, Blackburn, Brentford or any other Championship side that win the race for Curtis' signature, he's unlikely to fetch the same sort of fee as Lowe or Whyte did

In a pre-Covid climate, it wouldn't have been unreasonable for Pompey to have expected similar.

Curtis has an extra year on his contract than Lowe did and is a full Republic of Ireland international to boot.

However, we remain in a financial landscape that's suffered seismic changes because of the pandemic.

Across the Football League especially, clubs have been haemorrhaging money because of a lack of match-day revenue for more than a year.

As a consequence, price tags have been driven down, as have player wages, through no-one's fault.

It's safe to say that Pompey's investment will increase manifold on the meagre amount they splashed out for Curtis. It was a gamble that everyone could see had paid in a matter of weeks in the 2018-19 campaign.

But there needs to be a pragmatism to what the Blues may net upon his departure.

When Blackburn were keen in January 2020, there were reports Pompey slapped a £3m price tag on his head.

Now the Blues might well receive only half of that figure in the very best case.