Portsmouth Manager Addresses Transfer Links

Portsmouth manager John Mousinho has refused to confirm whether he is interested in signing Oxford United winger Josh Murphy this summer.

The 29-year-old wrote himself into Oxford folklore last month when his brace helped secure a 2-0 win over Bolton Wanderers in the League One play-off final. That victory saw the U’s promoted to England’s second tier, the first time they will play in the division this century.

Murphy’s form throughout the last season has seen him attract interest from a long list of clubs, which is said to include the likes of Sunderland, Hull City, West Bromwich Albion and Queens Park Rangers. With his current contract set to expire, Oxford are keen to extend his stay and have held talks over a new deal.

Championship football will help in their negotiations, although his head could be turned by those expecting to compete in the upper reaches of the table. One of those are Portsmouth, who also earned promotion by winning League One.

Pompey have been heavily linked with the former Norwich City attacker, who are expected to have a busy summer. Mousinho has performed an excellent job at Fratton Park in what is his first managerial position. However, he did finish his playing career in a dual player-coach role at Oxford in 2023, working alongside Murphy.

The 38-year-old’s past relationship with the player make this an easy link to make, although Mousinho refused to confirm or deny any interest:

“The truth on that is I know Josh, and he’s a fantastic player,” he told The News

“He had a really good back end to the season but for those kind of players, whether there’s interest or not, we want to keep everything respectful of the players, other clubs and everything else going on.

“There is links with Josh because I played with him previously, but whether we’ve got any interest or not it’s something we have to leave alone and not really comment on.”

Writer’s View

Oxford will not give up on their hope to persuade Murphy to remain at the club this summer, although it does appear unlikely. They are expected to struggle in the Championship next season and the attacker may fancy moving on to a team which will not face a battle at the wrong end of the table.

It’s natural to see so many linked with him, but Portsmouth does appear a feasible option. Despite it being their first campaign back in the second tier, they are well ran and will strengthen wisely. An upper mid-table finish will be the aim, with Mousinho hoping to convince his former teammate to join him at Fratton Park.

About Jamie Ward 669 Articles
Head of Writing

Be the first to comment

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.