League One manager provides further update on Gavin Whyte transfer, potential for Irish League signings this summer

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Portsmouth boss John Mousinho has provided another update on the potential transfer of Northern Ireland international Gavin Whyte.

The 27-year-old is set to become a free agent after leaving Championship outfit Cardiff City and having played with Mousinho during his time at Oxford United, the pair have been heavily linked to reunite at Fratton Park ahead of next season.

Mousinho feels that knowledge makes the process of making a move for the former Crusaders man an easier verdict to reach.

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“I know him and I’ve played with him for a couple of seasons. I knew him when he first came over as a young lad from Northern Ireland and then he came back on loan last season,” he told The News.

Gavin WhyteGavin Whyte
Gavin Whyte

"I do know him really well, so maybe it’s more of a straightforward one. With the other players there’s a lot more work which goes into them.

“That’s not to say there’s not a lot of work going into Gav, but it’s quite an easy one in terms of saying “I don’t think it’s an option, or it is an option".

“When I have played with players that recently it means I know everything about his character, it’s maybe more straightforward to see if it’s of interest or not.”

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Whyte’s move to Oxford when Mousinho was present is a clear example of why the Pompey boss is keeping tabs on the Irish League market this summer.

"Without stereotyping the Irish market too much, when Gav came over he was young, hungry and ready to step into full-time professional football,” he added.

“He did that brilliantly, then we had Mark Sykes the year after who took slightly longer than Gav to get going - but then went to Bristol City.

"We then had Oisin Smyth who’s played a couple of games this year and is just coming into his own.

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"One which didn’t go as well was Joel Cooper, which shows it doesn’t always work out. It ended up not working out for him over here.

"Then from the Republic we had Luke McNally, who went on to sign for Burnley and on loan to Coventry last season.

“So, yes, I’ve got quite a good reference point in terms of those players coming over from the Republic and Northern Ireland.

“A lot of the time it’s just different from getting players from academies. They are coming over from a full men’s league and a different style of football. That can bring disadvantages, but a lot of advantages as well.’