Portsmouth boss Danny Cowley insists that an imminent transfer is not the reason Marcus Harness didn’t play in their friendly against Bristol City.
The 26-year-old was thought to be involved against the Robins on Tuesday but he didn’t feature in the end. With the winger having been linked with a move to Swansea at times this summer, his absence further fuelled talk he could go.
However, speaking to the Portsmouth News, Cowley insists it was simply a decision not to risk Harness as they manage his workload carefully ahead of the new season.
“He (Harness) trained in the end. I think we had a group that trained. It was just a decision that we made for the benefit of Marcus. It was just a decision that we made for the benefit of Marcus.
“When you’re in this time of pre-season, there was a few today – Sean would have played had there been a match, Joe would have played had there been a game – but they’ve had a really heavy load and it’s always our aim to err on the side of caution at this time of year.”
Harness is entering the final 12 months of his deal at Fratton Park.
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It’s no surprise that Harness’ late withdrawal meant people thought he was on the move as Swansea, or any other interested club, wouldn’t want him to play if a deal was close.
But, you have to take Cowley at his word and whilst this obviously doesn’t mean a move won’t happen, it would suggest nothing is imminent.
Ultimately, there’s still a lot of time left this window and it wouldn’t be a surprise if Harness has already played his last competitive game for Pompey.
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