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Portsmouth boss addresses Championship links to in-form Ireland winger Curtis

The 23-year-old is attracting attention as a result of his recent performances with the League One club.

Ronan Curtis in possession for Ireland against Bulgaria.
Ronan Curtis in possession for Ireland against Bulgaria.
Image: Tommy Dickson/INPHO

KENNY JACKETT HAS played down the prospect of Ronan Curtis leaving Portsmouth this month, despite increasing speculation linking the Republic of Ireland international with a step-up to the Championship.

Charlton Athletic were recently reported to be monitoring Curtis, but Blackburn Rovers are said to be particularly keen on the in-form 23-year-old winger.

The performances of Curtis have helped a resurgent Portsmouth to move up the League One table following a disappointing start to the season.

The former Derry City star earned the division’s Player of the Month award for both November and December on the back of a run of eight goals in 10 appearances.

Interest in Curtis is only likely to increase should this rich vein of form continue, but with Portsmouth desperate for promotion to the Championship, their manager is understandably keen to retain his leading goalscorer.

Kenny Jackett told The Portsmouth News that the club haven’t received any official approaches for Curtis, who would leave a void that would be hard to fill if he departs during the January transfer window.

“We haven’t had any enquiries or bids and long may that continue,” said Jackett, whose side sit in eighth place, a point adrift of a play-off place. “Similarly, if we were to sell our top scorer and try to replace him it would be very difficult.

“There’s an opportunity for us at this stage of the season along with a number of clubs. We have to look forward and try to get the best out of the group. Ronan is very much a part of that. There hasn’t been any bids, wide-left players are few and far between and hard to pick up.

“He’s played well for us and I understand there’s speculation, but we’ve had no offers or enquiries and for us to react with two weeks of the window left would be difficult.”

Curtis has won three caps for Ireland, the most recent of which came in the 3-1 friendly victory over Bulgaria at the Aviva Stadium last September. 

Having struggled at times to find his best form during the early stages of the season, his club manager reckons he’s been at full tilt in recent months.

Jackett added: “Ronan’s our top scorer and we want that to continue. He goes in runs of goals but he’s had a good run now over quite a long period. It’s getting on to months now that’s he produced and got back to what we consider to be his best.” 

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Paul Dollery

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