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Portsmouth boss Cowley admits interest in Man Utd defender Taylor; Chelsea's Ekwah

New Portsmouth manager Danny Cowley has admitted interest in Manchester United defender Max Taylor.

Taylor, 21, is out of contract at the end of the season and was granted permission to go on trial with Pompey before previous manager Kenny Jackett was sacked earlier in the month.

"For us, when you see players go through difficult moments in their lives and come through them, that will naturally build resilience, determination and robustness," Cowley told Portsmouth News.

"The fact Max has been able to do that and play professionally is a credit to him and he'll always have my utmost respect."

Taylor and Chelsea midfielder Pierre Ekwah were both on trial during Jackett's final week at Fratton Park and although the United defender impressed, Cowley insists he'll have to see him play for himself before any decision is made on a deal.

The new Portsmouth manager added: "We have spoken about them both and if we can get the opportunity to look at any player we think is good enough to play for Pompey, if there's an opportunity to try before you buy then that's a really good thing to be able to do.

"All of a sudden you see them in that environment. We have a model we use to allow us watch the player at the final part of the recruitment. We need to watch them, fall into our statistical model we use and see how they'd perform in our team.

"We have got a good way of working to that and if you can get them to train with you, it allows them to train in your environment and fit into the group.

"While you're always trying to find a player with the best attributes, you're always thinking about their character because we know how important that character, togetherness and spirit is for the group.

"For us, we'll try to look at all the potential options and the best fits. We'll 100 per cent be involved in that.

"I never like to sign a player without seeing them with my own eyes live."

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