Date: 14th January 2009 at 8:01pm
Written by:

Speculation, Speculation, Speculation

Following the success of Sundays ‘Five New Faces‘ article I thought now would be a good time to bring you up to date with who I see as being in the driving seat for a move (loan or otherwise) to our famous old club.

I’ve listed all the ‘possible’ signings that I can think of and even offered my odds against who will join Pompey before the close of the transfer window at midnight on 2nd February 2009

The odds are based on various pieces of speculation, knowledge of the players involved, tip-offs and most importantly of all guess-work.

So, if you feel like a punt place your imaginary bets below and I’ll do the maths

Alternatively just post a comment to say what you think about some of the speculation

Joey Barton (Newcastle United) – Combative Midfielder
A sure-fire certainty if ever there was one to sign on the dotted line before the month is out. With Bolton pulling out of the race for his signature it seems Pompey are the only team left with an interest. It just remains for Uncle Peter to agree a fee (£4.5m max.) and check on the availability of cells at Kingston nick.

Evens Money
Edu (Valencia) – Defensive Midfielder
Another dead cert I reckon. Tony’s old mucker from his Highbury days. It might have been quiet on the Edu front during the past week, but I’m guessing the deal is done and although he scored for Valencia at the weekend I think we will see the 30 year old Brazilian with wife Paula and their two young children house hunting in the New Forest before January is out.

Manuel Fernandes (Valencia) – Creative Midfielder
The former Everton an Pompey loanee has seen his stock increase since the speculation at the weekend and given the deal is reportedly worth £6m this could be an attractive proposition to Tony. It was only 18 months ago that Benfica wanted £12m for his services. If you think a welcome return could be on the cards back him at 3/1

Christian Obodo (Udinese) – Midfielder
The 24 year old Nigerian is definitely worth a punt. Despite having too many O’s in his name Obodo would be a good proposition for any team that is in need of some midfield muscle. It you’ve never heard of him, he was Sulley Muntari’s midfield bodyguard at Udinese before Redknapp snapped the Ghanaian up.

Gary O’Neil (Middlesbrough) – Central/Right Midfielder
Needs no introduction. Question is. Is Steve Gibson going to back down on his statement that none of his players are going anywhere. If you think he will it is surely worth a tenner at 4/1

Mirel Radoi (Steaua Bucharest) – Centre Back/Def.Midfielder
Strongly linked with Pompey in the past. Currently looking for a move abroad but rumoured to favour Standard Liege or Fiorentina rather than us. The Romanian international is being touted at about £4.5m which is not too much to pay for a player that is equally at home both in midfield and at centre back.

Michael Johnson (Manchester City) – Midfielder
Johnson is a great prospect that probably won’t get the playing time he needs to develop at Eastlands. Could he partner Joey Barton in the heart of the Pompey midfield? If you think he could or indeed will 5/1 are cracking odds

Andrew Surman (Southampton) – Midfielder
Surman has been linked to Pompey before and it is rumoured that he has been speaking to us within the last couple of weeks. Whether he was discussing a possible transfer or advising Tony on what life in the Championship is like I’m not sure, but there`s no smoke without fire and at 11/2 he just might be too tempting not to have a little flutter on.

Aruna Dindane (Lens) – Striker
A great punt at 6/1. Dindane is sharp and strong and in the Drogba mould. Has made no secret that he wants to ply his trade in the Premier League it’s just a question of whether he fancies Pompey, Stoke or West Brom. £5m may be a bit steep for an unproven striker with a history of cruciate problems but apparently he is looking impressive in training.

Benjani (Manchester City) – Striker
The housewives choice. Tony laughed off suggestions that Benjy could be on his way back and I too see no role in Tony’s plans for the hard working striker. As much as we love him, he is long odds at 7/1. If you want to waste your imaginary money back Benjani for a return. It is just not going to happen.

Javier Saviola (Real Madrid) – Striker
I’ve nicknamed Saviola ‘the big let down’ He has honours as long as an orangutans arms in Argentina but since he was made surplus to requirements at Barcalona he has not settled or realised his potential. He might have been the youngest named player on the FIFA list of the 125 greatest living footballers, but that was three years ago and compiled before he lost his confidence. If you think Pompey can be the springboard to relaunch his career stick a cool £100 on this one. Although beware David Moyes as Everton are keen, as too are Wigan.

Kris Boyd (Rangers) – Striker
Long odds for a striker that I would have hoped we could have snapped up by now. Speculation suggests he done everything at Birmingham except sign on the dotted line. If you think Tony can get in quick and nick him from under the noses of the Birmingham Blues for less than £4m then name your stake. Personally, I think we may have missed the boat on this one.

Andy Driver (Hearts) – Winger
Although he has said he is in no rush to leave Tynecastle I still believe Driver is a great bet for those of you who believe Tony will sign an unknown. He is an England u21 playing for Hearts. Hearts need money, Pompey need a winger, what’s left to decide. A good outside bet at 10/1

Modeste M’Bami (Olympique Marseille) – Midfielder Playmaker
Pompey have reportedly made contact with the Cameroonian whose agent is quoted as saying “He wants a new adventure” and “England is his priority”. If you can pronounce his name he is surely worth a bet with odds at 10/1

Nathan Dyer (On Loan @ Swansea) – Attacking Midfielder
If you really believe Dyer (who can’t get into the Southampton team) has a future at Fratton then back him at 11/1. I’ll be mortified if we sign him, but stranger things have happened

Royston Drenthe (Real Madrid) – Left Winger
Work this one out. Drenthe was a youth player at Excelsoir, Johnny Metgod was a coach at Excelsoir. Metgod moved to Feyenoord, Drenthe moved to Feyenoord. Drenthe moves to Real Madrid, Metgod moves to Pompey. Pompey sell Diarra to Real Madrid and . . . Well you put in the rest. If you want to make a killing with your bet you could do a lot worse than back this 21 year old Dutch prospect for (at least) a loan spell at Fratton despite Ramos stating he sees Drenthe as a key player this season

Leroy Lita (Reading) – Striker
David Nugents U21 strike partner is going for a song. I smell a rat. There is something fishy about the price of Lita. Best left to Sheffield United to take the gamble I reckon. If you disagree, he has long odds at 15/1

Marvin Elliot (Bristol City) – Midfielder
This fella impresses me every time I see him play. Whether Bristol City will release him remains to be seen but surely Premiership aspirations must run through the veins of every young pro. Is he worth a punt at 20/1 you decide.

Edin Dzeko (Wolfsburg) – Striker
He is 22 years old 6ft 3′ and has scored 6 times in 13 games for his country and valued in the region of £7 million. I can see no way that this guy is coming to Pompey. Not at that price anyway. Waste your money if you wish by backing him at 20/1

Patrick Vieira (Inter Milan) – Central Midfielder
The links are obvious but we would need to sell the club to pay his wages. I offer long odds for this World Cup Winner.

Stephen Appiah (Unattached Mercenary) – Midfielder
Redknapp’s Ghanaian love habit. Similar to Vieira but will demand more. Rates himself far too highly.

Yohann Pele (Le Mans) – Goalkeeper
The 26-year-old French No3 is out of contract with Le Mans at the end of the season. If you think a keeper of the calibre of Pele is going to sit around and wait for James to retire (or move) then waste a bet. Might sign a pre-contract agreement though


Jimmy Bullard (Fulham) – Creative Midfielder
If Bolton are sniffing around why can’t we? Because he’s on his way to Arsenal for the bargain price of £5m

Jermain Pennant (Liverpool)
I will not be surprised if he leaves Liverpool but if he is at another Premiership club come February, I will eat my shorts. Waste a bet if you want, I’ll happily take your money.

Luis Garcia (Athletico Madrid) – Winger
If you really like a gamble here is your man. Has been touted around every premiership club during the past month and nobody has made a move. Will Pompey?

(Other odds available on request)

So there you have it, my take on the runners and riders in the race to join Pompey

What do you think ? Do you agree with me? or am I way off the mark?

It is time to Place your Bets

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