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Five or Six Sides Chasing Portsmouth's Ward
Five or Six Sides Chasing Portsmouth's Ward
Saturday, 5th May 2012 09:37

Portsmouth boss Michael Appleton says there may be five or six sides in the chase for Blues target Joel Ward, who he expects to be the next player to leave Fratton Park. Town have been chasing Ward since the summer with chief executive Simon Clegg telling TWTD that there “are ongoing discussions” earlier in the week.

Appleton believes Ward, who underwent surgery on a hernia injury on Monday, is interesting a number of clubs in addition to Town with Crystal Palace and Leeds reportedly amongst them, while Watford have previously been linked: “There could be five or six in the race for Joel. That can only be a good thing.

‘He had his op but I’ve seen him and he’s walking about fine. The operation is straightforward. It’s one about 75 per cent of players have in their career.”

The Blues are still believed to be the frontrunners having initially had a fee agreed in January. That deal and a move for keeper Stephen Henderson, now with West Ham, broke down over personal terms in the final hour of the transfer window.

Ward was subsequently at Portman Road to hold talks regarding a move to the Blues prior to the March loan deadline but Portsmouth’s administrator decided to keep hold of the 22-year-old with Pompey at that point still in with a chance of holding on to their Championship status. Jewell said Ward was “keen to come” to Town when he spoke to him.

Pompey central defender Jason Pearce, who the Blues also targeted in January but are understood not to have made moves for since, completed his switch to Leeds for £500,000 yesterday, signing a four-year deal.

Appleton says he expects Ward to follow his close friend out of Fratton Park soon: “I would be very surprised if he’s not the next one to move on.”

Photo: Action Images

Photo: Action Images

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jas0999 added 09:54 - May 5
We should surely be able to compete with other Championship sides? Ward would be a good signing so hopefully Clegg and PJ can do this deal.

righty added 10:03 - May 5
Dont hold your breath players want to go to ambitious teams with a decent management system

Len_Brennan added 10:10 - May 5
Intetesting that they did not move for Pearce this time. Either he categorically said he would not move to Ipswich last time or our new 'salary cap' could not be reconciled with his wages demands ... oh or maybe we have 2 ofher, better, centre halves lined up about to put pen to paper, maybe.

bedsitfc added 10:13 - May 5
righty - thats why we should get him

bluethroughnthrough added 11:02 - May 5
With Clegg in charge of our summer transfer negotiations and the fact that we've been chasing him since January, I don't hold out much hope.

Mark added 11:12 - May 5
We don't tend to do very well when it comes to competing with other clubs for players, but I would like to think if we are up against the likes of Crystal Palace and Watford then we should be able to do the deal.

buryblue77 added 11:16 - May 5
Sadly, due to our recent history in transfer negotiations I'm not overly confident that a deal can done. I hope I am wrong.

denhamblue added 11:21 - May 5
no chance on that then,we couldnt outbid clacton town

theblueginger added 11:30 - May 5
Palace and Watford-doesn't sound like 5-6 clubs to me. In all fairness, if what we are being told is true, he really should be ours.

billlm added 11:57 - May 5
pompey trying to boost the price as pearce went for nowt what they paid for him see ipswich as suckers as do so many other clubs i hope we get him but i fear if we do, we will pay way to much or wont get him as hes to much then as in pearce, find he goes to a competitor at half price ala pearce scenario

PaulSlocombe added 12:20 - May 5
75% of players have a hernia op in their careers? I wonder where he got that stat from - seems unlikely.

As to Ward, a number of posts on various Pompey boards question whether he is really any good. They don't fault his effort or loyalty but question his quality. The problem with a utility player is that he is probably not quite good enough to hold down any one position. I think we could do better.

ClassyCranson added 12:29 - May 5
Good, lets hope he goes somewhere else. An average player who does not really want to play for us.

irishtim added 12:43 - May 5
Sign him up or move on

StowTractorBoy added 12:49 - May 5
Leeds in for him as well accoridng to that very reliable paper the Mirror !!! This has been going on for far too long now as do most of our deals. Can we have just one deal where we are told so and so has signed instead of long drawn out speculation.

CPratchett added 13:39 - May 5
He's gonna go to Leeds, along with Varney and Norris.

strikalite added 14:04 - May 5
He won't come here now no chance, it's like that attractive girl who lives around the corner that you've had your eye on for 6 months, you think you've got a chance because she still smiles and says hello and you've been told she's now single...here you are asking her out for the SECOND time, you've been waiting for so long because she's what you want ...what a mug....man up, walk away and move on because she's playing games and if she wanted you she'd be there....lol that is US or that's how it appears..

buryblue77 added 14:31 - May 5
strikealite, not necessarily, that girl who takes her time......well we're now happily married!!!
However I didn't have Cleggy asking her out for me!!!

JustSpivvyChops added 15:49 - May 5
Another fine mess, coming right up..........to be expected when you've got Laurel and Hardy handling your contract negotiations.

Woefully, desperately, meaningfully short of central defenders, yet we couldn't compete with Leeds for Pearce and they only paid £500k?!?!?!?!? We might as well pack the club up now.

If we had made the right offers, both of these targets (Ward and Pearce) would have been in ITFC shirts months ago.

My patience with the top brass of this club has just about run out.

Keaneish added 15:56 - May 5
Simple question but very necessary. It's May. We've been chasing this deal publicly since January. Why has this not been finalised?

Karlosfandangal added 16:41 - May 5

How do you know we cant compete with Leeds, Portsmouth were asking silly money for Pearce in Jan, Now that they are down things have changed,

THE emergance of Smith in the back end of the season could have a bit to do with the fact Ipswich have not gone back in for him, I expect they have other targets in mind now than they did 4 months ago

gibbo added 16:52 - May 5
We have cleared over £30k a week in wages this season yet wages still seem the reason we are being priced out of new signings.

JustSpivvyChops added 17:47 - May 5
Karlos, the reason I know we can't compete is simple, we didn't sign him! As is the case, for 99% of the players Jewell has wanted at the club. We are "making do" with 3rd and 4th choice targets, as Laurel and Hardy won't pay market value and are clearly incapable of conducting successfully contract negotiations.

Smith is not even bench material and is nothing to do with not signing Pearce.

We are still in the market for at least 2 central defenders, as Jewell has repeatedly stated.

Our situation is a catch22 and will never be resolved............a good player comes onto the market, we approach them, Laurel & Hardy won't pay the requested wages, we end up not signing them, which has happened over and over and over again. All they are doing, is slaughtering the clubs credibility, if they aren't prepared to pay the money, don't approach the players, it's embarrassing for everybody associated with ITFC, when we lose out on signings, to clubs that have less available funds, but are clearly more football minded.

We can argue the toss all day about whether players are worth the money, or not, but since when has football ever made financial sense? I'd rather have a decent player, earning good money, helping ITFC to the top 6 (and thus earning more revenue for the club)..........than doing the business for one of our rivals. It's a shame Laurel & Hardy don't understand this, but they are not football people, so maybe I shouldn't be too surprised?

manualthetisfanclub added 19:25 - May 5
blah blah blah blah.jog on ward.lost interest back in january!move on,obviously doesn't want to come,,so move on FFA!!!!

WickedBlue added 20:22 - May 5
What is wrong with you Jewell outters? Why do you feel the need to make up crap to support your arguments ou constantly tell us what players think what Jewell, Clegg and Evans do say and think without any actual facts to support it.

THe truth as we actually know it. In January we asked Pompey how much they wanted for Pearce. They told us he was not for sale. So we then offered money for Ward and the goalkeeper. Pompey needing money accepted our offer but both Ward and the GK wanted to stay and help fight for Pompey survival, traits of loyalty that I for one like to see. So for personal terms they asked for silly money knowing we would not agree to it. Thus they got to stay.

Now it has all changed Pompey failed in thier bid. Jewell decided not to renew his interest in Pearce for what reason I and none of you know. So we did not lose out to Leeds as we were never in it in the first place. We have been talking to Ward and will we get him? I don't know but then neither do any of you. But that doesn't stop you making up stories to support your tainted opinions.

JustSpivvyChops added 21:21 - May 5
Wickedblue - not sure what parts of your comment were aimed at me, but just wanted to clear a couple of things up.

Firstly, I'm a Jewell fan, Laurel&Hardy = ME and SC.

Secondly, your version of how the contract negotiations went, is way off the mark. By January, we had already bid twice for both Ward and Pearce. Portsmouth rejected the bids for Pearce, as they were well below their valuation of their player (they didn't want to sell him, but he was for sale, make no mistake about that) but they were happy with the second Ward bid and allowed us to talk to him(surprise surprise, Clegg couldn't agree terms, which by the way, were not 3 times current salary, that was Jewell protecting his CEO from criticism). Subsequently, we made a third offer for Pearce on deadline day, which was again turned down, as below valuation of the player.

Clegg was responsible for all the negotiations and again, failed miserably to secure signature's, due to his warped perception of the "market value" and wages of players.

Shortly after rejecting our bids, Portsmouth went into administration and we were beaten to the punch by Warnock, who showed more determination and better timing, to slip straight in and schmooze his target man (Pearce) from right under our noses (he contacted Portsmouth for the first time in March).........and for a paltry fee too. We enquired of Pearce again at the end of March and were told that it was pointless, as he had decided that he wanted to join Leeds, following contact with Warnock. A football man succeeded, where an anonymous CEO failed, no surprise to the knowledgeable among us.

These are not guesses i'm making, but accurate accounts of how events unfolded. From an ITFC perspective, I am friendly with some of the senior ITFC personnel and hob nobbing with them brings useful pieces of information....just as it did, when Keane was in charge.

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