Championship sides Blackburn Rovers and Cardiff City have cooled their interest in Portsmouth winger Ronan Curtis, according to The News.
Both clubs are currently free of any EFL transfer restrictions and would be able to lodge the £2m bid required to lure the Republic of Ireland international away from Fratton Park, but are reportedly unwilling to take their interest any further.
Curtis scored ten goals and recorded seven assists in 42 League One appearances last season and has performed well consistently for the third-tier outfit for three seasons since the 25-year-old arrived from Derry City in 2018.
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With this, the winger has publicly reiterated his desire to play in the Championship – a move that received a mixed reaction from Pompey fans.
But with Blackburn and Cardiff not taking their interest any further and other previously interested sides Derby County and Reading currently operating under a transfer embargo, a second-tier move for Curtis looks unlikely at this stage.
This leaves the 25-year-old facing another season of League One football unless another side comes in later in the window, as Pompey manager Danny Cowley attempts to guide his side to a Championship return next season.
Curtis’ contract doesn’t run out at Fratton Park until 2023 after he signed a new three-and-a-half deal in early 2020, allowing Cowley to play hardball with his prolific winger.
Everyone has known about Curtis’ Championship ambitions for a while, so it’s no surprise to see him linked with a move away again and for £2m, a potential side could be getting a player who has been a reliable source of goals in League One for the past three years.
If a team doesn’t come in for him before the end of August, the winger must be professional and try and get there himself by firing the south-coast side to promotion.
This promotion isn’t guaranteed though, with Lincoln City, Charlton Athletic, Sunderland, Oxford United, Ipswich Town and Wigan Athletic all likely to be competing at the top end of the table next season.
Considering this, it wouldn’t be too surprising to see Portsmouth finish outside the play-off zone again next term, with Curtis potentially becoming even more frustrated at that point.