Pompey set to take Michael

Former Sheffield United midfielder Michael Doyle Picture: Bruce Rollinson
Former Sheffield United midfielder Michael Doyle Picture: Bruce Rollinson
  • Move for Doyle is reignited
  • Blues hold successful talks with midfielder
  • Dunne and Ertl no closer to departures

Michael Doyle is finally closing in on his move to Pompey.

The Blues are confident of sealing a deal for the midfielder after successful talks yesterday.

But Paul Cook is no closer to moving any of his other options in the middle of the park off the wage bill.

Discussions are continuing over the futures of Johnny Ertl and James Dunne. Neither are on the verge of departing, however, despite being left out of the pre-season training camp in Portugal.

Cook is set to enjoy a successful conclusion to his pursuit of Doyle, however.

That deal appeared to be dead earlier in the week – but has now been reignited.

The 33-year-old travelled down for talks at Pompey’s Roko training base in Hilsea yesterday. He 
met chief executive Mark Catlin there – along with Blues staff – as a move nears a conclusion.

Doyle trained with Pompey last week before pulling out of their Portugal stay.

Cook spoke of his admiration for the former Sheffield United man’s combative talent in the wake of that development but intimated it may be necessary to shift midfield options before bringing him in.

That no longer appears to be the case, as Doyle inches closer to becoming Pompey’s eighth summer arrival.

The former Coventry and Leeds man would join Adam Barton, Danny Hollands, Ertl and Dunne as midfield anchoring options in Cook’s preferred 4-2-3-1 formation.

The Scouser has also been impressed by both Nigel Atangana and Ben Close in that area, since his players returned to training last week.

Andy Barcham’s desire for regular first-team football saw him leave for AFC Wimbledon on Wednesday.

An exit with Ertl appears to be less straightforward, however.

The Austrian still has 12 months remaining on the three-year agreement signed in 2013.

He is settled in the area and has been a figurehead in Pompey’s emergence as a community-owned football club.

The 32-year-old appears content to sit tight and fight for his place in the side, despite the prospect of limited playing time next season.

Cook remains keen on adding a right-back and striker to his staff ahead of the start of the League Two season on August 8.

Neither look likely to being brought in over the weekend, however.

Pompey are weighing up a number of loan options and free agents at present in the defensive position.

Ipswich defender Elliott Hewitt, who spent last season on loan at Colchester, has been linked with a Blues move.

The News understands the 21-year-old is not currently being considered, though.