Portsmouth striker John Marquis has attracted significant interest from clubs already in the 2020/21 close season, even though the regular season only finished a week ago. Despite reports suggesting newly promoted Championship side Peterborough United are keen on taking Marquis to London Road, Posh chairman Darragh MacAnthony has said publicly that a bid for Marquis is not on the table with Pompey.
Hampshire Live revealed that Posh were one of three sides to have made enquiries about the availability of Marquis since the season’s close. Peterborough are said to be resigned to losing star striker Jonson Clarke-Harris to Scottish champions Rangers this summer. Although Marquis is not a player that Pompey are keen to sell, the former Doncaster and Millwall powerhouse has just one year remaining on his current deal at Fratton Park. MacAnthony took to his highly active Twitter account to refute the story but insist that Posh “haven’t gone on holiday” in their pursuit of new faces to strengthen their squad for second tier football.
Who else is interested in the former Doncaster hot shot?
The two remaining teams said to have enquired to the Pompey hierarchy over Marquis are League One rivals MK Dons and an unnamed Scottish Premier League (SPL) team. Portsmouth boss Danny Cowley has made no secret of his desire to bring in a new centre forward that can improve his team’s ball retention in the final third – linking the play and bringing the wide men into the game. At the present time, Marquis and Ellis Harrison are the only senior strikers on the books at Fratton Park, following the recent departure of Jordy Hiwula at the end of his contract. Cowley admitted to HampshireLive that “every player at League One level” undoubtedly “has a price” on their head. He added that it was important to “stay open-minded” about any potential offers that could be used to “better the squad”.
It’s not yet known whether the Blues will have to sell more before they can buy, although Pompey’s former CEO Mark Catlin has long warned about the long-term stability of EFL clubs adding that many are at a “real pinch-point” financially this summer. Catlin is well aware of the impact of a tightened commercial landscape for EFL clubs. In 2012, he joined Portsmouth voluntarily to work alongside the Pompey Supporters’ Trust and Presidents to help save the club from extinction. He has worked tirelessly to cement the club back in the third tier of English football and just last week opted to leave for a new role with The Topps Company.
Danny Cowley given assurances over summer recruitment by outgoing CEO
Prior to Catlin’s departure the former Fratton Park CEO insisted that boss Danny Cowley would have full control over the team’s recruitment policy this summer. That’s despite Portsmouth’s scouting network including two members appointed by former manager Kenny Jackett in the shape of Phil Boardman and Roberto Gagliardi. Catlin’s last comments before leaving his Pompey role reinforced that Cowley is “absolutely key to the [transfer] decisions that we make”.
Cowley’s former Lincoln players almost certain to be on his close season hit-list
Like most managers, Cowley has made no secret of his desire to sign players he has worked with in previous jobs – players he can trust. This has raised suspicions that Cowley could look to snatch left back Harry Toffolo from Huddersfield Town in the summer, as well as midfielder Jack Payne. Both of whom Cowley worked with at Lincoln City. In addition, winger Harry Anderson could also be in Cowley’s sights with the 24-year-old out of contract at Sincil Bank this summer.
Anderson was one of Cowley’s trusted lieutenants during the early stages of his managerial reign, helping the Imps out of the National League and back into the EFL big time. Although Anderson has featured 38 times for Michael Appleton’s playoff hopefuls this term, he played just three of the last ten games of the regular season. With Ronan Curtis almost certain to leave Fratton Park this summer in pursuit of Championship football and Ryan Williams also not certain to sign a new contract with Pompey, a player like Anderson could be a shrewd replacement for either departure.
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