UPDATED: Town bid for Pompey pair turned down

Portsmouth have turned down Ipswich’s second bid for duo Jason Pearce and Joel Ward, according to reports emanating from the South Coast.

It had been claimed that the cash-strapped Championship club would need to sell players as they face the prospect of being hit with a �1.6 million bill from Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs (HMRC) – and the prospect of liquidation.

But they are playing hardball over their first team pair after rejecting Town’s improved offer.

The Blues made a second bid over the weekend after their initial bid – thought to be around �1 million for both players – was turned down.

With Leicester City said to be in the hunt as well, Pompey boss Michael Appleton has conceded he might have sell some of his top stars.

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Appleton said: “It wouldn’t surprise me in any way, shape or form if they did (Leicester) come knocking for them in the coming days. It’s not welcome but I could understand clubs thinking there’s an opportunity to pick up players. We’re in financial difficulties.”

According to the Portsmouth News, Andrew Andronikou, the joint administrator of the club’s parent company Convers Sports Initiative (CSI), has said the pressure is on to find a buyer to keep the club afloat. He said HMRC would be seeking to issue a winding-up order this week.

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