Date: 21st August 2008 at 12:17pm
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Harry Redknapp has made it clear that he wants to bring in a new left back to add cover/competition to Hermann Hreidarsson. This has seen us ‘linked’ to Nicky Shorey – but he went to Villa, Wayne Bridge – but he wants to sit on the bench at Chelski and Nadir Belhadj – so far nothing is happening here, until now?

With us turning the loan of Jerome Thomas into a permanent deal we have now made a loan slot available – I am not sure if it is 2 loans, as Pompey say or 4 as others say that are the maximum you can have? – and the suggestion is we could fill this with the loan signing of Arsenal youngster Armand Traore

Do not be fooled by the name guys, from what I have seen of this Traore he is a fantastic talent, very much in the Ashley Cole and Gael Clichy mould of left backs if you ask me – and only the immense ability of Clichy keeps him from getting more of a look-in at Arsenal in my thinking.

To be honest I was not so sure that we needed to get in a left back, and I know it is only 1 game – and a game against a Chelski side that were fantastic, as poor as we were – but Hreidarsson for the first time in a long time looked out of place and looked all of his 34 years… So if we could bring this kid in on loan then it would not be a bad thing at all, but lets see what happens eh, lots of rumours do the rounds all the time!

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Redknapp however has moved to dismiss speculation ‘linking’ Pompey with 4 free agents, telling The News: ‘Juan Pablo Sorin arriving is absolute rubbish. I don’t even know where he is.

‘I’m not interested in Thomas Gravesen. As for Stephen Appiah, he’s injured at the moment, that’s why he’s left Fenerbahce.

‘We won’t be signing Jordi Lopez, either. He’s gone after his trial. We didn’t want to keep him.’

Just as he says this it does not mean none will happen, but again we’ll see. I have seen that Lopez is on trial with Blackburn now though!

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And finally, with the speculation growing and growing that John Utaka could return to France, with reports in France saying that he is closing in on a move to Lille – I think it is Lille? – Harry Redknapp has backed him. Saying he is still very much in his thoughts but he has to realise that in a 4-4-2 he needs to pull his weight…

I am not convinced that we will ever see him be the player that we want and I am not sure he will be willing to put in a shift as the English game is different to what he is used to, but I am happy for us to give him one final chance up until Christmas – if he fails it will be almost certainly time to say goodbye…

That said if a decent offer does come in then I would suspect he will leave, my only concern is that we possibly would not be given this money to reinvest despite ‘links’ to the likes of Sydney Govou – I am undecided on this fella, Jermaine Pennant – not for me and Shaun Wright-Phillips – yes please, but highly doubtful.

All in all I feel we would have seen a new signing arrive – other than today’s – by the time we face Manyoo on Monday, with an announcement made on Friday looming Perhaps?

Thoughts on all the above as ever please guys…

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