Pompey move to bring back Rocha

Ricardo Rocha has had talks with Guy Whittingham over a return to Pompey
Ricardo Rocha has had talks with Guy Whittingham over a return to Pompey

Ricardo Rocha is in talks over a shock return to Pompey.

Caretaker boss Guy Whittingham has offered the free agent a way back into football.

The 34-year-old was released by Michael Appleton at the end of last season after 76 appearances for the Blues.

Since then, he and his family have moved out of their Fareham home and gone back to Portugal.

But following unsuccessful trials at Ipswich and Leeds this season, Rocha remains without a club.

Now Whittingham has moved to bolster his defence by broaching the possibility of the former Benfica man making what would unquestionably be a popular return.

The early response from Rocha has been encouraging.

And Whittingham is hopeful he can pull off a deal.

He said: ‘I have had contact with Ric. There is a long way to go but he is one of the guys I would like to bring back.

‘There are two willing parties trying to do it. The circumstances we are under doesn’t make it that easy, but I think he would love to come back and we would love to have him back – so we’ll see how we go.

‘He has always stayed in touch. When I got the caretaker role, one of the first texts I had was from him wishing me all the best – and that’s where it started.

‘Ric’s over in Portugal at the minute. I know he has kept himself fit and hired a personal trainer.

‘It’s just a question of trying to get our heads together and thinking if we can meet somewhere along the way where we can get an agreement done.

‘It may not be something we can do immediately. It could be something that might not happen until January with all that is happening here.

‘We’re just trying to look forward because January is going to be another time where there is going to be a lot of change around.

‘He’s a big family man and loves to be around them. I can understand him not coming straight away at the drop of a hat, there are a lot of things to sort out.

‘We might have to be patient.’

Rocha remains a hugely-popular figure at Pompey following two-and-a-half seasons with the club.

During that time, Whittingham worked with him and would relish having his defensive ability in his side.

He added: ‘I always remember the semi-final against Spurs when Ric and Aaron Mokoena were absolutely superb at the back, blocking everything.

‘He might be one of those who doesn’t play every single game. You may have to rest him for a few, but we have got some young lads here who would learn so much from his experience.

‘I don’t think there are too many players around who read the game as a centre half as well as he does.’

Meanwhile, Whittingham has denied rumours Pompey are considering a loan move for AFC Wimbledon midfielder Christian Jolley.