Paul Downing appears to be joining Portsmouth over League One rivals Doncaster Rovers.

Portsmouth have beaten League One rivals Doncaster Rovers to the signature of Paul Downing following the defender’s release from Blackburn Rovers, the club’s official website confirm.

A deal for Downing has been completed despite previous suggestions he was set to complete a permanent move to Doncaster Rovers having enjoyed a successful loan spell there.

Downing originally joined Blackburn in January 2018 on an 18-month deal. He played a role in the club’s promotion from League One but fellow out of favour in the Championship.

Rovers boss Tony Mowbray told the Lancashire Telegraph last January that the club were open to offers for Downing. He later joined Doncaster on loan until the end of the season.

Former Donny manager Grant McCann was impressed with Downing’s performance as his side reached the League One playoffs, succumbing to a penalty shootout defeat to eventual promotion winners Charlton Athletic.

McCann, who has just moved to Hull City, told the Lancashire Telegraph last month how he was in talks with Doncaster’s chief executive Gavin Baldwin over making Downing’s move to the Yorkshire club permanent. It seemed only a matter of time before the loan move would become permanent with the 27-year-old said to have really enjoyed his time there.

But now, in a surprise twist, Portsmouth look to have won the race. Kenny Jackett’s side are in need of a new central defender after Matt Clarke secured a move to Premier League side Brighton and Hove Albion.

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