Pompey experience busy transfer day

Paul Cook tonight finally ended his striker search with the signing of Michael Smith.

Monday, 1st February 2016, 10:21 pm
Updated Monday, 1st February 2016, 11:25 pm
Michael Smith, right, in action during his loan spell at Barnsley

However, there was no such joy for out-of-favour Matt Tubbs, who ran out of time to seal his Pompey exit.

And the Blues failed in a sustained push to the 11pm deadline to bring in midfielder Stefan Scougall on loan from Sheffield United.

Although Paul Jones did move to former club Crawley on a month’s loan.

Following Caolan Lavery’s return to Sheffield Wednesday, Cook had made a new forward a transfer window priority.

Swindon’s Smith had been a long-time target, while the Blues boss had also looked at Bradford’s Steve Davies.

However, with hours to go before tonight’s deadline, Pompey yesterday managed to land Smith on a 93-day loan.

In doing so, the towering striker is eligible to be considered for tomorrow’s clash at Morecambe (7.45pm).

Smith last season scored 18 goals for the Robins as they reached the League One play-offs.

Yet he has spent the majority of the first half of the season on loan at Barnsley, failing to net in 13 matches.

Cook had also identified Scotland under-21 international Scougall to join Smith at Fratton Park.

Yet despite working late into the night, a loan deal for the 23-year-old couldn’t be brokered.

Frustration also for Tubbs, who was hoping to depart during the transfer window in search of regular first-team football.

The 32-year-old has inevitably attracted plenty of attention this month, with AFC Wimbledon and Crawley among those to have eyed a move.

However, matching his Pompey wages have been a sticking point for suitors.

Negotiations also took place with ambitious Eastleigh today, yet no agreement could be reached.

Tubbs will now attempt to secure a move when the emergency loan window opens for clubs outside the Premier League in a week’s time.

Meanwhile, Jones continues his comeback following a knee ligament injury with a switch to Crawley.

With Ryan Fulton currently in the side and Brian Murphy again available after recovering from concussion, the Blues agreed to loan the 29-year-old to the Broadfield Stadium.

Jones previously made 105 appearances for the Reds before recruited by Pompey in the summer of 2014.

Having been an ever-present last season, he has suffered a frustrating campaign.

And Cook believes the move is beneficial.

He said: ‘Paul’s is a situation we’re monitoring.

‘He was on the bench Saturday but we have Brian Murphy back from his concussion.

‘We have a fantastic young keeper arrive in Ryan Fulton

‘Paul needs to play football and he needs to go out on loan.

‘It’s a situation we’ll monitor for our best benefit.’