Owen Moxon is in Portsmouth to finalise his move to the League One leaders from Carlisle United.

Reports on the south coast say Moxon and his agent, the former Blues manager Graham Kavanagh, are both at Pompey's training ground today.

The developments bring Moxon's departure from Brunton Park closer ahead of Thursday's transfer deadline.

The 26-year-old midfielder's future at United has been in the balance since it was confirmed last week that he would not be signing a new deal at the club.

Portsmouth have since emerged as major players in the hunt for his signature and they have stepped up their interest this week.

The News in Portsmouth this afternoon said Moxon and Kavanagh were both meeting club officials to discuss a deal.

United appear to have conceded that doing a deal to sell the Denton Holme favourite was a better option than keeping him at the club for the rest of the season then losing him for nothing at the end of his contract.

Carlisle have not commented today on developments.

Assistant manager Gavin Skelton last night said he was not surprised that the ex-Annan Athletic star was attracting interest.

The coach would not be drawn on the likelihood of the midfielder leaving Brunton Park when asked about Pompey's approach by the News & Star.

“I’m not aware of anything but Owen’s always going to attract interest," Skelton said on Tuesday night.

“He’s done great for us and he’s continued to do great for us this season, so if you’re a good player you’re always going to attract interest.”

News and Star: Gavin SkeltonGavin Skelton (Image: Barbara Abbott)

Skelton, speaking after Tuesday night’s Fred Conway Cumberland Cup game at Penrith, declined to comment on whether United expected the Denton Holme star to leave before Thursday’s deadline, the coach saying his focus had purely been on last night’s game.

United have been faced with a decision whether to do the best deal they can for Moxon’s departure now, or retain him for the rest of the relegation battle and then face the prospect of losing him for nothing in the summer when his contract expires.

Reports in Portsmouth earlier this week said the south coast club are keen on the Cumbrian but were not prepared to meet United’s current valuation, and that they could revisit the matter in the summer if things do not come to a head by Thursday night.

United said they would not comment on speculation but since then discussions have continued.

John Mousinho's side appear to have had their intentions focused by a fresh midfield injury blow last night, with Joe Morrell suffered a first-half injury in their 2-2 draw at Oxford United.

Simpson said after Saturday's defeat to Bolton Wanderers that he planned to speak to Moxon to determine his state of mind after a social media backlash from some fans over his contract decision.

Skelton, meanwhile, said Carlisle are still attempting to bring in a new striker before the deadline.

“Obviously forward areas [are where we’re looking], the manager’s said that,” he said.

“But if you ask every football club they want someone who runs like the wind, can score goals and hold it up. We’re probably no different in looking in forward areas.”

With the possibility of departures from the squad too, Skelton said: “It will be interesting what happens.

“Every club works on ins and outs, and sometimes a lot comes to fruition, sometimes not a lot does.

“It will be an interesting next couple of days as the madness continues.”