Doncaster Rovers face stiff competition to land Paul Downing
Portsmouth are rivalling Doncaster Rovers in the race for Paul Downing’s signature, the Star understands.
Rovers want to sign the 27-year-old defender permanently after his impressive loan spell at the Keepmoat Stadium.
But they face stiff competition from at least two other clubs in League One following his release from Blackburn.
Pompey kept tabs on Downing in January before he joined Rovers and played an important role in helping them reach the play-offs.
Kenny Jackett has prioritised signing a new centre half this summer with star player Matt Clarke set to move on and Jack Whatmough ruled out until the new year.
Portsmouth have also been linked with moves for Bristol Rovers’ Tom Lockyer, Coventry City’s Jordan Willis and Cork City’s Sean McLoughlin.
Rovers boss Grant McCann admitted to BBC Radio Sheffield last month that he was not confident of securing a deal for Downing.
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Last week he was slightly more optimistic when speaking to the Doncaster Free Press.
He said: "There is a chance. I'm speaking to his agent quite regularly.
"Paul has met with a couple of other clubs in this league but he is really keen on coming to us.
"Paul is away for the next two weeks and we'll touch base with him and his representatives when he comes back."
McCann wants to add another centre back to his squad to compete with Joe Wright and Tom Anderson.
Out of contract Andy Butler refused to take a pay cut to remain at Rovers and signed for League Two Scunthorpe United.