'It could have been handled better' - Cowley on Pompey star Jacobs' failed Town move

File photo dated 12-10-2021 of Portsmouth's Michael Jacobs, who missed Tuesday night's 2-1 win at Sh

Michael Jacobs was close to joining Ipswich Town in the summer but instead remained at Portsmouth - Credit: PA

Portsmouth boss Danny Cowley has praised the way Michael Jacobs has responded after his summer move to Ipswich Town fell through. 

The Blues, then managed by Paul Cook, had a bid for Jacobs accepted and agreed personal terms with the attacking midfielder, with a medical also taken and passed after he travelled to Suffolk. 

The move was close to completion, only for Ipswich to quickly change course once it became clear long-time target Kyle Edwards had become available. Town ended their interest in Jacobs and quickly tied up their move for Edwards. 

Jacobs remained at Portsmouth and has since worked his way back into Cowley’s squad in order to become a vital member of one of League One’s form sides. 

He could face Town this weekend, as he works his way back from injury. 

“I’ve seen a lot in football during my 15 years as a manager and I think that situation could have been handled better, for sure,” Cowley told The News in Portsmouth.

“Michael is very professional and regardless of the opponent, always gives his best. 

“It was a very difficult circumstance because I know it’s been well reported that Ipswich made an offer and the fee was accepted. 

“He then went and spoke to them before personal terms were agreed. He then passed a medical - then the move broke down. 

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“Ultimately, Ipswich decided to take a player who had become available. These things happen. 

“It did knock and affect Michael, but we were really pleased he stayed. 

“I think he knew he was coming back to a group who thought an awful lot about him and that made it easier for him to return.” 

Jacobs has missed Portsmouth’s last five matches with a knee injury but is now back in training, with Cowley coy on whether he could feature this weekend. 

“Well, never say never,” the Pompey boss said. 

“I think the fact he’s training with us tomorrow is a real positive. 

“We have everything crossed he’ll be back with the squad sooner rather than later.” 

The Portsmouth squad also includes midfielder Joe Morrell, a player Ipswich tried to sign from Luton in the summer.

The Welshman ultimately chose Fratton Park, having already given his word to manager Cowley.