Date: 28th July 2009 at 3:11pm
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Whilst I would still expect some players to leave Paul Hart has said that David James and Sylvain Distin will not be among those being allowed to leave…

Contracts mean nothing, but as he told The News he is using this as the basis to retain them: ‘I don’t think we will be selling either Sylvain or David. They are here, they are contracted so I’m not expecting them to leave.’

Distin continues to be ‘linked’ with others but is also continuing to be linked with talks about ‘signing a new contract’ as well.

Hart would not be drawn on ‘who could leave’ but we have made no secret that others will go with Nadir Belhadj and John Utaka the ones being most strongly linked with moves away: ‘I said players could be sold. It would be wrong to talk about certain players.

‘I have seen what has been said about Belhadj and I don’t know anything about that. Nadir is a quality player – but let’s see what happens.’

He is not exactly ruling out Belhadj’s exit though is he, which would disappoint me but once again I use the ‘for the greater good’ thought. ‘Word on the street’ is his departure is all but done…

Utaka I would carry to his next club so if Stoke can offer a good enough amount take it!

Those being ‘linked’ with Pompey most strongly continue to be Nikola Kalinic – who is said to have spoken about securing his ‘dream move’ in joining Pompey and Steve Finnan – who has been released by Espanyol, but again Hart was cagey: ‘Steve Finnan is one of many people we are interested in. As is Nikola Kalinic.

‘Steve is a quality player and if you saw my list you could probably see a few more quality players there. He’s a very experienced player, like many others on the list.

Things are happening, deals are being lined up with it being the understanding that, as unlikely as it seemed, deals seriously are in place for players – including the pair mentioned – but certain things must happen before contracts are signed…

Keep the faith, this ‘new era’ for Pompey will begin, but once again we must stress that January is the time when we feel this is most likely to take shape – in the meantime we battle through.

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