Friday, 11 May 2012

Leeds Close in on Second Pompey Defender

Portsmouth defender Joel Ward in action against Leeds in February,
Portsmouth defender Joel Ward could seal a move to Leeds United next week after holding transfer talks with the club.Ward is in line to follow Jason Pearce from Fratton Park to Elland Road – but three other Championship clubs are vying for the right-back’s signature.Ipswich Town, Crystal Palace and Burnley have all expressed a firm interest in Ward but he is understood to have spoken with Leeds in the past 48 hours.The 22-year-old is likely to make a decision on his future after considering his options over the weekend.Ward was a fixture in Portsmouth’s team this season, making 46 appearances in a defence which also included Pearce.He turned professional at Fratton Park and spent a year on loan at Bournemouth before making his debut for his parent club in 2009.Portsmouth manager Michael Appleton admitted recently that Ward was likely to be next to follow Pearce through the exit door at Fratton Park, predicting a mass scramble for his services.
Appleton said: “There could be five or six in the race for Joel. That can only be a good thing. I’d be very surprised if he’s not the next one to move on.”

Leeds have only one recognised right-back in their squad – Paul Connolly – and the former Derby captain is surplus to requirements after being transfer-listed by Warnock.

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