Manager Issues Update On £385K Portsmouth Transfer Target

Having confirmed the League One title on Tuesday night with a 3-2 victory at Fratton Park over Barnsley, Portsmouth can now start looking ahead to the summer transfer window to strengthen their squad.

Despite taking the lead at home through Kusini Yengi, Pompey found themselves 2-1 down at the hour mark following goals from Devante Cole and John McAtee in each half. Nevertheless, the club’s top goalscorer Colby Bishop drew the game level in the 83rd minute from the penalty spot before Conor Shaughnessy clinched the title in the final 60 seconds of regular time.

The goal from the Irish central defender ended a 12-year-long stay in League One as John Mousinho’s first full season as a head coach has concluded with a trophy and the Manager of the Season award for the third division.

Now, attention will turn to the summer market as the 37-year-old looks to bring an abundance of quality to his squad to ensure Portsmouth can remain in the Championship next season. One name who has consistently been linked with a move to the south coast club is Marc Leonard.

The Brighton and Hove Albion midfielder has spent the last two seasons on loan at Northampton Town, playing a major role in the Cobblers’ promotion to League One in the previous campaign and helping Jon Brady’s side to fight in the top half of the table this term.

Speaking in a recent interview, Northampton boss Brady issued an update on the player’s future, admitting that Saturday’s game at Sixfields against Exeter City will “probably” be the last time supporters can watch him in action for the club (quotes via The Northampton Chronicle):

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“It would be great to see fans come down and see Marc Leonard and Kieron Bowie play at home probably for one last time because they are two high-quality players,” Brady said.

“They’ll go back to their respective clubs in the summer but they have both been brilliant for us during the two years. In my time here and from knowing the Cobblers over the years, I’d say he (Leonard) is probably been one of the best players to ever wear a Cobblers shirt.”

“What they’ve added to us with their ability and their attitude, they have been a manager’s dream. They’ve played 80, 90 games each over the two seasons and helped us get promotion, it’s absolutely fantastic. Every challenge you set them, they surpass it,” he continued.

“Their commitment to the club, to the cause and to us and to represent themselves in the way they do has been exceptional. I’ve thoroughly enjoyed working with them.”

Writer’s View

Whilst on loan, Leonard has worked his way up the divisions of English football, proving his worth in League Two and League One. Now, he is ready to make yet another leap by playing consistently for a team battling it out in the Championship. As of last night, Portsmouth fit this bill.

There have been quite a few other clubs linked with the 22-year-old already, including Swansea City, Cardiff City and Derby County, meaning it will be a challenge for Pompey to secure his signature, but they must try. His market value is currently set at £385,000, as per Transfermarkt, meaning he is definitely affordable as he enters into the final year of his contract with Brighton.

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