Date: 11th December 2008 at 10:25am
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Diarra to hand us Christmas cheer?
Lassana Diarra could hand us a good Christmas present as he is ‘pencilled in’ to make his Pompey return before the end of the year, and ‘maybe’ even against Bolton a week Saturday!

The Frenchman has not played since getting injured against West Ham, and with reports growing all the time that he will be sold in January, many had feared he has played his last game for Pompey – but he will return to training next week and ‘could’ face Bolton, if not he would almost certainly be fit to face West Ham on Boxing Day and then Arsenal on the 28th.

‘Reports’ claim that a deal has already been done with Citeh with a fee between £18m and £23m agreed for his transfer when the window opens in January – with ‘conspiracy theorist’ saying that he is not actually injured, or not as bad as it was claimed, hence his not playing.

Maybe he will go, maybe not – either way if he is here beyond next summer I would be amazed, but ‘if’ we see him again in a Pompey shirt before January it will surely answer the question about a deal already being done? My own thinking is he ‘might’ go, but I find it hard to believe that we would willingly not play him, even ‘if’ picking up another injury would ‘jeopardise’ a move, if we could…

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Duo set to return against the barcodes
Diarra might be a cert to miss the Newcastle game and injury will also rule out Younes Kaboul and John Utaka, along with the suspended Papa Bouba Diop but Armand Traore – after a hamstring problem – and Richard Hughes – after injuring his own ankle – are back in contention, and could return.

Seeing both return would be a big boost, should Traore return it would be a very welcome – if not expected – bonus as when he limped off against Wolfsburg last week I did not expect to see him play again this side of Christmas. We all know what Hughes brings to us, so who would not want him back!

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Johnson on HR’s shopping list
The latest name, albeit not really a surprise, added to Harry Redknapp’s apparent shopping list – a list that runs into millions! – is Glen Johnson.

He is certainly one of ‘Redknapp’s boys’, and who would not be interested in the England man, but if he – or anyone else – thinks that they will pick him up for a meagre £6m then they want to have a serious rethink.

Yep, everyone has a price, but we would be incredibly stupid to sell him for such a small amount, then again we do have a habit of selling players below the true value – something that winds me up no end!

Quite how Spurs are meant to fund all the ‘apparent’ transfers they will make in January, with players from us alone, is beyond me…

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