Linked Bristol Rovers transfer target chooses League One rival as Swansea set to sign ex-Gas star

A reported transfer target for Bristol Rovers this summer has opted to go to Portsmouth - reuniting with their manager John Mousinho.
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Northern Ireland international Gavin Whyte has opted for a move to Portsmouth, despite reported interest from Bristol Rovers.

Pompey fought off fierce competition to make the 27-year-old their eighth signing of the summer transfer window, with Kusini Yengi then making it nine on Sunday. Whyte had been a target for the Hampshire club for a few months,and had always been favourites to secure his signature following his departure from Cardiff City.

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The Gas were said to have 'kept tabs' on Whyte, along with Derby County, Charlton Athletic and Oxford United, but John Mousinho has managed to land one of his former Oxford United teammates, as the leagues busiest team in the transfer market this summer make another solid addition. He has signed a three-year deal at Fratton Park, and his first competitive game for the club could be against Bristol Rovers, with the two sides set to meet on the opening day on Saturday, August 5.

“I spoke to John and he was a big factor," said Whyte when revealing his motivation behind his move to the South Coast.

“He motivates you as a player, so I think he’ll be the same as a manager. I obviously have a few other pals who play here and they had plenty of good words to say about the club.”

"As soon as I heard that Pompey were interested in me, I knew that this was a place I wanted to come to. It was just a good fit for me and so I couldn’t wait to get the deal done – I want to be at a club that’s up there fighting."

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Bristol Rovers’ signing of Luke Thomas is already a hint that the club had alternative transfer targets in mind, with Scott Sinclair their other option as a wide midfielder. More business is expected to come from the Memorial Stadium with Bristol Live saying George Friend is set to become their fourth summer signing.

In other news, former Bristol Rovers forward Josh Ginnelly looks set for a return to England. BBC Sport Wales and Wales Online are both reporting that Ginnelly will be Swansea's first signing of the summer transfer window, which will usher in the new era of Michael Duff. Ginnelly had attracted interest from several Championship clubs, as well as a move abroad, and rejected a new contract offer from Hearts to return to the English game.

The 26-year-old made 89 appearances for Hearts in total - the most in his career - and he got 22 goals and 13 assists. He had been at Bristol Rovers before joining Hearts, having been on loan from Preston.

Elsewhere, James Daly has secured a move back to the Football League, after signing terms with League Two club Harrogate Town. Daly has joined the Yorkshire outfit from Woking, where he scored seven goals in 35 games, helping them earn a National League play-off pot. As for what other ex-Gas players are up to, Ollie Norburn after being placed on the transfer market by Peterborough United, is now at Blackpool, meanwhile Angelo Balanta and Timmy Abraham have both headed to Boreham Wood, who dumped Rovers out of the 2022/23 FA Cup.

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