Portsmouth’s chances of signing Manchester United defender Di’Shon Bernard with the Premier League releasing him from his contract, as reported by The Portsmouth News.
The Premier League giants have turned down the option to add an extra year to the defender’s contract and the Blues are keen to swoop to make his signature permanent. Last month it was reported that John Mousinho was keen to retain the defender’s services and the Pompey boss said he was “positive” about making the move permanent, but he did admit it was a decision down to Manchester United and the Red Devils look to have made that decision.
The 22-year-old joined Portsmouth on loan on deadline day in the January transfer window and caught the eye of Mousinho during a loan spell that saw him make ten appearances in League One at the South Coast club. During his time working with Bernard, the Portsmouth boss described the powerful defender’s future as ‘bright’.
Fratton Park was the English defender’s third loan spell during his time with the Premier League club. His first loan was to a club they have a strong connection with in League Two Salford City, he made 31 appearances with the club and scored twice in that run. Following that loan spell, he moved up the ladder as he joined Hull City in the Championship. Once again, he was impressive for the Tigers and was a key part of their team making 28 appearances.
However, since joining the Blues in January, he only made ten appearances for the club, with 35% of those minutes coming in the starting eleven, as he started the final four matches of the season. Still at a young age, he is a player who would still need some development and he may not see minutes immediately in the starting eleven, especially with the likes of Sean Raggett and Ryley Towler in the team, the latter being particularly impressive in the final stage of the season.
With the 22-year-old now a free agent, their hopes of securing his signature permanently are significantly boosted and the club have begun talks with Bernard and his agent in the hopes they can secure the former Chelsea youth player’s signing. He remains a leading target for the League One club, but they may have to be patient with other clubs also interested in the defender.
Bernard like Mousinho has said before does appear to have a bright future ahead of him and it may be the Red Devils have chosen to not extend his stay to allow him to seek first-team football elsewhere. With that being said, Portsmouth could be the perfect destination for him, a lower-level team would allow him to feature in the starting eleven. However, with the club’s current options, it may not be regularly, but it would almost certainly be more than he was getting with United.