Why key new boy turned down Championship interest and likes of Derby County, Charlton Athletic, Bristol Rovers & Co to make Portsmouth home

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Gavin Whyte has revealed the reasons for turning down Championship interest to join Pompey.

The key summer arrival admitted it was the size of his new home in tandem with the vigour with which the Blues pursued his signature, which convinced him Fratton Park was the place for him.

The Northern Ireland international is one of the highest profile of the nine additions made to date, after leaving Cardiff City.

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Whyte will be tasked with bringing creativity in tandem with goals and assists to Pompey’s attacking play next term.

The 27-year-old told how he waited to make his decision, but the intensity of Mousinho’s interest registered when deciding where he moved - along with his new club’s status in the game.

Whyte said: ‘It went on for a while, it was a bit long to be honest.

‘I knew about six or seven weeks ago Pompey were interested. As soon as I heard that, it was obviously a good thing.

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‘It took a little bit of time but I was just buzzing to get it done, to be honest.

New Pompey winger Gavin Whyte. Pic: Portsmouth FC.New Pompey winger Gavin Whyte. Pic: Portsmouth FC.
New Pompey winger Gavin Whyte. Pic: Portsmouth FC.

‘There was some Championship interest and some in League One, but I’d also say this was the biggest club of them also.

‘I didn’t want to make a decision until after the international games (with Northern Ireland). I had a few days off and went on holiday.

‘I had a little think, spoke to my missus, family and agent and we were all in agreement this was the best place to come.

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‘I just think Pompey showed the most interest in me, and I wanted to go somewhere I was wanted - I felt that was here.’

Whyte is well acquainted with Mousinho after the former Crusaders man’s two spells with Oxford United, where they played together .

He told how his former team-mate played the right game when it came to landing his quality - and he’s convinced Mousinho has the assets and attributes to now become a successful boss.

Whyte added: ‘Obviously I know the gaffer and that was a factor, with the other factor being how big of a club it is.

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‘I’ve played here a few times, the fans are amazing and it’s a massive club - they were the reasons.

‘He (Mousinho) wasn’t on the phone all the time, he was more chilled about it. It was more my agent, because I didn’t want to get involved until things got a bit serious.

‘They were dealing with it behind the scenes though, and when it happened I was just buzzing.

‘I’ve played with the gaffer and he’s just an unbelievable guy.

‘He knows a lot about football and as a team-mate he pushed you on, so I’m sure he’ll be the same as a manager. I’m really looking forward to working with him.’

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