Shortly after breaking into the first-team picture at Preston North End, midfielder Adam Barton found himself being linked with moves to top flight clubs including Liverpool. The Daily Mail reported in 2011 that Liverpool were interested in making a £2.5 million bid for the then 20-year-old North End player.
Barton was first given his chance at Preston by Darren Ferguson and shone prominently in the 2010-2011 side which eventually succumbed to relegation from the Championship. At the time Barton was seen as a very confident player with great passing abilities.
The Shropshire Star also credited Wolverhampton Wanderers with an interest in Barton around a similar time, but a move never materialised.
Barton found himself at the centre of a tug of war between Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland. England remained a possibility at one point and he pulled out of a Northern Ireland squad in order to remain eligible for England. That call-up has yet to arrive but he has gone on to play in a friendly for Northern Ireland.
His time at Preston North End ended in a cruel way as in February 2012 he suffered a dislocated ankle which ruled him out of the rest of the season.
The midfielder ended up moving to Coventry City that summer and made 73 appearances for the Sky Blues over a three-year spell. Coventry had it tough on and off the field during that time and Barton never really managed to settle down and produce the sort of form that once saw him linked with Liverpool.
It seems a good fit for both club and player now though. Still only 24-years-old, Barton has time on his side and the ball-playing midfielder will fit perfectly into Paul Cook's side, as he likes to encourage silky, smooth passing football. He's joined a big club with ambitions of playing in the top levels again, and he may go on to be a key cog of Pompey's engine as they aim for promotion from League Two next season.