Former Premier League midfielder training with Blues

James Harper during his Reading days
James Harper during his Reading days
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JAMES HARPER is bidding to earn a Pompey deal.

The midfielder is training with the Blues after being released by Championship side Doncaster Rovers.

Harper knows director of football Steve Coppell from their time at Reading.

Boss Richie Barker will weigh up the 33-year-old and consider handing him a deal.

Barker said: ‘James has been released by Doncaster.

‘He has the connection with Steve and played for him for many years.

‘James still lives in Reading so he’s come in and is doing some work with us.

‘If he comes in and is the best player every day, I dare say we’ll look at doing something!

‘Steve Coppell has said he’s the fittest player he’s had. You don’t lose that overnight.

‘He trained with us the other day and I asked him if he wanted to come to the gym with us. He told me he was going home to do some more running. That says it all.

‘Something didn’t work out for him at Doncaster.

‘James is a bit Marmite, really. He could maybe rub people up the wrong way. You either love him or hate him.

‘If he’s doing his talking on the pitch that’s fine.

‘He just loves playing football and is a fantastic person to have around.’

Meanwhile, Bournemouth boss Eddie Howe has confirmed Wes Fogden is set to sign for Pompey.

Barker was staying coy on the subject, but will speak to Marcos Painter on his future this week.

‘A lot’s been said (about Fogden), but it’s not coming from me,’ said Barker.

‘You haven’t heard me talking about him. I don’t talk about players until they’ve signed.

‘We’ll speak to Marcos this week.’