Date: 18th December 2008 at 11:25am
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New arrivals in January, hopefully…
The January departure of Lassana Diarra, although clearly a disappointment to us all was always likely, but this will help with some debts and ‘should’ give Tony Adams some funds to bring in reinforcements – and this is what he is hoping for, in fact he feels he ‘could’ get the whole lot, although I doubt this!

Dealings in the New Year can often involve over inflated transfer prices, but he has said that he is looking to bring players in but will not pay over the odds, his dealings are also something that he wants doing sooner rather than later…

I think it must be a near dead cert that Nadir Belhadj will become a permanent signing with a right sided player wanted and a central midfielder – and one with a creative influence and ideally an eye for a goal – needed, if possible.

We had said that players, not a singular ‘player’, had already been lined up in the wake of Diarra’s immanent January move, so the Algerian will probably be one but the ‘rumours’ of a return for Gary O’Neil are gathering pace and growing – today the ‘reports’ are that talks have started with Boro over a deal to bring him back, with further payments that Boro owe us written off as part of the dealing…

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Citeh still chasing Diarra
Obviously, until January comes round the deal to take Diarra to Madrid is not fully concluded – and Mark Hughes is still hoping to bring him to Citeh, with him refusing to rule his signing out…

He has said: ‘he’s obviously a player I like. He’s a good player, but he’s still a Portsmouth one. Things may develop for him but the window isn’t open at this moment so we’ll just have to wait and see what happens.’

Citeh can want all they want – and ‘will’ offer ludicrously high wages to get him – and whilst I am sure that ‘if’ we could get more money by selling to them we would I think its fair to say that his heart is set on Madrid – and this will not change… A move to Madrid, for whatever money offered, is clearly a giant step forward – Citeh is not!

Unfortunately it is being ‘claimed’ that Arsenal did have a sell-on clause inserted into the deal when we bought him, so a ‘reported’ 25% of what we get needs to be given to them, which is a disappointment but still unexpected really. Counter claims say that it will only be around £3.5m, so a sell-on amount but not 25% – although it is also ‘said’ that we too have inserted a sell-on fee with us getting a percentage of any fee Madrid might get for him in the future?

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Crouch wants more uefa football
After our first taste of European football ended on a high with a win over Heerenveen last night, this taster has wetted the appetite for more uefa cup football in the future – and Peter Crouch, fresh from his double last night, is hoping to score the goals to get us back there again.

He might have scored twice, but he should have had at least 4 as he missed some really good chances – chances that he, and we in general, cannot afford to keep missing.

It is no secret that I rate the big man, and feel he offers us a lot more than some people think, but his finishing in recent weeks has been poor on the whole but the goals ‘should’ help and will hopefully see his confidence improve and his finishing skills sharper – continuing this weekend at Bolton!

He has 11 for the season so far, if he can double this amount in the second half of the season – as he hopes – then he feels this gives us a chance of going on another European tour next season, a tour that he wants to spearhead, so thoughts of a move away do not seem high on his priority list and I do no think he would move on in January anyway…

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Lauren ‘reported’ as tipping himself and others to go…
Before anything else is said we must remember it is important to remember that just because it is ‘claimed’ that Lauren has said so and so it does not make it true!

But it is being ‘reported’ that the defender has claimed in an interview with As that Diarra will not be the only departure in the New Year, as Jermain Defoe and Glen Johnson will join him in making the move away from the club – with a deal for Defoe to return to Spurs ‘already’ agreed: ‘the team is dismantling itself and big sides are coming. Diarra is not the only one, Defoe as well is returning to Tottenham, and Glen Johnson is leaving.

‘The economic situation is very bad and we are aware of it. Look at the signings they made two years ago: they bought myself, Sol Campbell, Defoe, Pedro Mendes, who has moved to Rangers. Well, the majority of them are going to leave.

‘I’m leaving in January as well, going to Turkey or Greece.’

Again, how true these ‘apparent’ quotes are cannot be known really can they, but as far as Lauren is concerned if he wants to go so be it – he will not be missed at all will he, lets be honest! The fella has been a fantastic footballer over the years, and to a degree has done a job for us, but has never been the same since his serious injuries with Arsenal.

‘Maybe’ the extending of the transfer window until early February means that Defoe could return to Spurs, which apparently he cannot do anyway, and if he does so be it! Do not get me wrong I rate the fella and would be gutted to see him leave but if he wants to go let him, and anyone else for that matter – my own thinking is that his head has not been right for some time, and this is showing in his erratic finishing recently. So, maybe that is because he wants to go? A move to a ‘top’ club would be easier to accept, but a return to Spurs is not a move forward…

As for Johnson a top club will come in for him at some point, and ‘rumour’ has it that Liverpool could be looking. So, as long as this is a top price and to a top club that is a genuine move forward this day will one day come, but hopefully not just yet – besides how Liverpool could afford him remains unknown, a swap deal for Robbie Keane would suit me!

Either way, as far as the ‘top stars’ are concerned lets be honest here we are not going to be able to fight off the top clubs for our players, very few clubs can. So long as these players only leave for genuine moves forward and for top money I can always accept this – and lets just hope this will be the case. We do not need to sell anyone else now, despite claims made, but if we chose to is another matter…

Just a thought, but maybe he is slightly ‘bitter’ at the club for his lack of 1st team football, and this is in some way a parting swipe? Either way I suspect that personalities at the club will be wanting to have a word in Lauren’s ear regardless… But again, as said just because it is reported he said so and so it does not make it true, we must surely have learned over the years that not everything we read is true!

Thoughts on all please guys…

PLAY UP POMPEY!

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