Pearce exit set to kick-start fire sale

Pompey's summer fire sale will today gather pace with Jason Pearce's departure to Leeds confirmed.

Pearce is due to become the Blues’ first exit since the season ended after agreeing a £500,000 move to Elland Road.

The 23-year-old’s switch will generate a much-needed boost to the Fratton coffers, with the club desperate for cash to stay afloat.

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Leeds will pay Pearce’s fee up front, with the deal expected to pave the way for a flood of exits.

Leeds boss Neil Warnock has made it clear he sees the defender as exactly the kind of no-nonsense talent he needs to build his side around.

Pearce made a big impression in his second spell at Pompey after returning from Bournemouth last summer.

He cleaned up on the player of the season awards this term – including The News/Sports Mail player of the year trophy – in an outstanding personal campaign.

That saw Pearce make 44 appearances and score two goals as his side were eventually relegated.

Meanwhile, Erik Huseklepp bids to move a step closer to the Premier League tonight when Birmingham take on Blackpool in the Championship play-off semi-final first leg.

And the Norwegian international, on loan at St Andrew’s from Fratton Park, admits the prospect of Pompey fans willing him on to success has given him a boost ahead of the game.

Huseklepp said: ‘I’m looking forward to it and hopefully we can do well.

‘I’m looking forward to playing Blackpool and then playing in a final at Wembley.

‘It will give me a boost to think people in Portsmouth are supporting me.

‘That’s nice to know and that will always give me more confidence.’