Portsmouth Dealt Blow In Pursuit Of £1.3 Million-Rated International

Portsmouth have had a bid rejected by Standard Liege for midfielder Aiden O’Neill according to journalist Will Unwin on Twitter (X).

With the club returning to the Championship next term, after an 11-season hiatus, John Mousinho knows that he must recruit well if they want to be competitive in the division. That’s not to say that there isn’t enough quality in the squad already, but Pompey will want to do far more than just make up the numbers on the second tier.

Under Mousinho last season, the club would dominate in the third tier. Losing just five league games all season and racking up 97 points, there’s plenty to like about the direction in which Portsmouth are going in and they don’t seem to have reached their ceiling just yet.

Nonetheless, in order to continue their progression, strong and experienced additions will be needed at Fratton Park this summer. They’ve already added the likes of Jordan Archer, Josh Murphy, Sam Silvera and Jordan Williams to their ranks so far this window, but it is expected that they’ll be plenty more names arriving through the doors at Fratton Park.

All of those deals bar Silvera, who joins on loan from Middlesbrough, have been free transfers, but Mousinho will be allowed to splash some cash as well this summer.

They have however met somewhat of a stumbling block in their pursuit of one transfer target, with Will Unwin revealing that Standard Liege have rejected a bid that Pompey had made for Aiden O’Neill.

A product of Burnley’s academy after making the switch from his native Australia, O’Neill would make just five senior appearances for Burnley prior to moving back to Australia to link up with Melbourne City. Following the expiration of his contract with the A-League side, he’d join Belgian club Standard Liege last summer, and has a contract with the Jupiter Pro League side until the summer of 2027.

With 23 league appearances, 16 of those starts, it hasn’t exactly all gone to plan for O’Neill since the move but he would suffer a season ending ligament tear in March which did impact his first season with Liege.

In another tweet, Unwin revealed that the club are open to selling the midfielder, who has 13 appearances at an international level, this summer. Valued by Transfermarkt at around the £1.3 million mark, Portsmouth’s bid must’ve been off for the club to reject it.

Don’t be surprised to see Pompey continue to display an interest in the 25-year-old, who has plenty of talent in his locker.

Writer’s View

With experience on the international stage, O’Neill would bring some serious quality to Portsmouth’s midfield. Their midfield was one of their strongest departments in their title winning season and the addition of the Australian would be a further boost in those ranks.

However with potentially quite a high price tag, Mousinho may well choose to look elsewhere, especially with risks attached after a season-ending injury.

O’Neill does have youth on his side though and at 25, should now be coming into his prime years. It’s a deal which could indeed work out very well, but will come at a cost.

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