HANDY FOR POMPEY
By Steve Bateman
Last Updated: 01/01/70 1:00am
Pompey had been linked with the 26-year-old Scot earlier in the season, only for Lawrence to dismiss the rumours as speculation.
However, speaking to Radio Humberside on Tuesday night, Claridge re-iterated his desire to make Handyside a Portsmouth player.
"He is one of the players that we're looking at," said Claridge.
"He's not top of our list, but he's not bottom either - he's one of a number of players that we're aware of."
The former Scotland Under-21 player is out of contract with the Mariners at the end of the season and will be available on a Bosman free transfer.
Speaking in November, Grimsby boss Lennie Lawrence said that he would be unwilling to let Handyside leave the club unless he received a "substantial offer", although he would be unable to stop the centre-half leaving during the summer.
Meanwhile, Lawrence has also responded to rumours linking three of his players with moves to Nottingham Forest.
Welsh international goalkeeper Danny Coyne, along with midfielders Wayne Burnett and Danny Butterfield have all been linked with the City Ground outfit in recent weeks.
"You have to be realistic and say we can't afford to lose anybody before the end of the season," said The Mariners' boss.
"I'm certainly not looking to sell anybody before that. If there's an offer we can't refuse we will have to consider it, but that applies whether you're top, bottom, or halfway."
Grimsby also agreed to extend striker Daryl Clare's loan spell with Cheltenham by a further month on Tuesday.
Clare, also out of contract during the summer, has been linked with a permanent move to The Robins, but no permanent arrangement has been agreed as yet.