Date: 15th January 2010 at 6:03pm
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David James looked nailed on to join Stoke this time last night. Pompey remained tight lipped on the issue but Tony Pulis had, more than once, confirmed talks with the England keeper before the deal broke down today.

Although Avram Grant says he ‘does not know what happened’ with James, and appears to be suggesting that he was unaware of a ‘possible’ departure?

Grant said, speaking in his press conference ahead of the game tomorrow: ‘I must tell you honestly that I don’t know what happened (concerning James).

‘From my point of view, he was training with the team and nothing happened.

‘He trained today and he trained the day before. There wasn’t any problem and I don’t know what was happening.’

This is truly bizarre if the manager does not even know what is going on and if a player is in talks about leaving the club without him even knowing?

As far as Grant is concerned James is staying with Pompey, as is everyone else: ‘he belongs to the team and I want him to stay in the team.

‘I’ve heard many clubs want our players but we want to keep our players.

‘We had 16 players in the squad on Tuesday and tomorrow, if everyone is fit, it will be 18. So we cannot give players to the other teams and we don’t want to.’

The 39-year-old is in the squad tomorrow but it is not known if he will replace Asmir Begovic or not or even take a place on the bench – if he even does that? For me I think Begovic deserves to retain his place so I can see no reason why he should not to be honest!

Jamie O’Hara is most definitely out of the game though as his loan has now ended, although Grant says he would like to bring him back but his main focus at the moment is ‘getting three points against Birmingham’ and then he will worry about ‘the ban and registering player’ after.

He did say that he knew nothing more about the embargo though, but was focusing on the game anyway so did not want to talk about the issue anymore.

I am still totally ‘baffled’, probably more so than Grant over this whole David James issue – surely he must have known what was going on?

Does this mean James was never going anyway?

If so, and this was being done without Grant’s knowledge or say so this is not going to work is it? Players being sold without his say so will not go down well – assuming that is what was happening anyway?


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