Keene set to seal Pompey return

James Keene playing for GAIS in Sweden
James Keene playing for GAIS in Sweden

James Keene is expected to seal his Pompey return today.

And Guy Whittingham is hopeful for another loan recruit to be in place before Saturday’s visit of Notts County.

Keene trained with the Blues yesterday ahead of his anticipated switch from Swedish club Elfsborg.

The 27-year-old also spent time at Pompey’s Eastleigh base last month to convince Whittingham of his worth.

Keene previously made two appearances for Pompey in the 2004-05 campaign before signing for GAIS in Sweden.

Having come through the Fratton ranks, he had also played in the reserve team, then run by Andy Awford.

The Wells-born striker would also go on loan to Newbury, where Whittingham was boss.

Now Keene is set to complete his Fratton Park return and go straight into the Blues’ squad for Saturday.

Whittingham said: ‘We are hoping to have at least two in on loan for Saturday’s match.

‘Whether that comes off or not, we will have to wait and see.

‘James was with us training yesterday and we are hopeful that can be completed today.

‘It will be great to get him on board, he’s a player who will give everything.

‘Obviously some players have departed this week but we have others on the radar to replace them. We’re working hard to bring in new faces – and James is one of them.’

Since Pompey’s loss at Walsall last week, loanees Scott Allan and Nathaniel Mendez-Laing have returned to their parent clubs.

In addition, Brian Howard, Lee Williamson, Mustapha Dumbuya and Jon Harley have been informed their contracts will not be renewed.

That has prompted Dan Butler to be recalled from his Hawks spell and named in the first-team squad.