Bristol Rovers boost as Portsmouth stance revealed on transfer target

Bristol Rovers only have one competitior for Luke McCormick as it stands, but a deal is far from simple
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Portsmouth are not believed to be interested in Bristol Rovers transfer target Luke McCormick, it is understood.

The 23-year-old is not in the Wimbledon first-team picture right now amid rumours he wants away from the South London club following their relegation.

McCormick has yet to play for the Dons this season despite being four games in with the London media claiming his absence is not injury related.

As to where he could be this summer is yet to be decided but one club that is to be ruled out is Pompey, who are pursuing other transfer options.

Sun journalist Alan Nixon claimed on Sunday that Portsmouth were set to join a transfer tug-of-war for the midfielder, competing with Rovers and Scottish Premiership outfit Hibernian, though that seems not to be the case.

Providing an update on Monday morning, Andrew Moon, a reporter for BBC South has updated Pompey fans by saying neither McCormick or Charlton Athletic midfielder Alex Gillbey are targets.

He tweeted: “I’m told as things stand #Pompey aren’t in the market for an attacking midfielder so Luke McCormick and Alex Gilbey not current transfer targets.”

As to where Bristol Rovers stand on McCormick, they are already considering signing Burnley midfielder Adam Phillips, which could highlight that they are going in a different direction.

McCormick was the shining light in an otherwise dismal campaign for Rovers, performing in a side that was relegated with six goals and two assists.

Wimbledon have placed a £200,000 valuation on the player but no interested party have satisfied them as of yet.

Phillips like McCormick is an attack-minded midfielder and is available for transfer as he is not part of Vincent Kompany’s plans.

Barton holds a good relationship with Burnley because of his playing spell there, which could put the Gas ahead of the likes of Shrewsbury and other League One rivals.

Phillips has been at Morecambe on three separate occasions and sandwiched between that was a loan spell at Accrington Stanley, though a permanent departure from Turf Moor may be the best option for all parties.

Rovers have already exchanged transfer fees for James Connolly, bought from Cardiff City as well as Jordan Rossiter from Fleetwood Town.

There is a desire for up to six further new faces, despite the recent addition of Lewis Gibson, who joined on a season-long loan from Everton.

Barton however has stated that the club will not be held to ransom when it comes to the financial structure when trying to conclude a transfer deal.

He said: "We will pay fair prices for people but we are not going to get our pants pulled down. Too many times in the past that has happened here.

“We will get value for money and if that’s not value for money, we’ll go elsewhere. There are loads of targets out there.”

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