Date: 7th August 2009 at 3:47pm
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It continues to seem as though The News and Pompey are ‘friends’ again as Peter Storrie has again been speaking with them today regarding the futures of David James, Sylvain Distin and Niko Kranjcar.

Unless ‘his hands are forced’ Storrie says that none will go and others that will go are purely down to ‘tactical reasons’ from now on in: ‘I want to avoid selling. If my hands are forced with certain things not happening it’s a different situation – but we’re not there yet.

‘The ones that are going to go now are purely to do with tactical reasons.

‘We want David, Sylvain and Niko to stay.’

Storrie on James

‘As for David, he’s already come out and said he will stay. He’s always been a fantastic professional.

‘It was interesting how he rang me several times during the summer to ask how things were going with the ownership.

‘He’s always had that tremendous interest in the club.’

It was interesting to today see that Steve Bruce has denied that he is interested in taking James to Sunderland, lets just hope that this remains the case – although I am sure that Jamie’s Dad will continue to be ‘sniffing around.’

James seems to be fully committed, so lets just hope that he retains this commitment issue – and our hands are not forced, as despite many others, Pompey aside, still not believing just how good James remains, a few wobbles aside last season, he is still right up there with the very best and I would not swap him for anyone!

Storrie on Distin

‘It’s no secret we’ve had an offer for Sylvain, but we flatly turned it down.

‘We still continuously get enquiries – but we are just not interested in selling him.

‘We want him to stay with us for the next two or three years and have had interim discussions with his agent on a new contract, so it’s in his hands really.

I openly questioned his commitment to Pompey several times last season and in my 4-4-2 interview, which is now on sale, said that I wanted him to go. I am glad that he has not, and hope that he does not!

The thing that I cling to is the fact that if he was unhappy he would be making noises and I think he would have gone by now and we would have sold – as what is the sense of keeping an unhappy player?

Storrie on Kranjcar

‘Niko has always made it clear he wants to stay and see out his current deal, but doesn’t want to sign a new contract.

‘That’s his position and we respect his view – but we will continue to knock on his door and say “sign for longer”.

‘If he stays a year and we don’t get a transfer fee, at least hopefully we’ll get a fantastic season’s play out of him – and there’s a huge value in that.

‘Niko knows my views on it and there have been lots of discussions. He knows we love him to death. We have no intention of selling.’

We need to see the best of Kranjcar on a regular basis, we need to see what he does for Croatia at the highest-level week-in-week-out – and given the fact that he is likely to play behind the striker in a 4-5-1 more often than not this is his platform.

Should he produce this form then I would, like Storrie, accept him leaving for nothing next summer. Him leaving on a free, providing a new contract is not agreed, but us staying in the premier league will be worth it from a financial viewpoint. If this situation changes we could always review this in January…

These were the 3 players that I highlighted as what I thought were the spine of the side yesterday, and it appears the set-up at Pompey think the same…

Storrie on arrivals

‘We are working on a couple more, another one in a similar type of deal to Frederic Piquionne. We are hopeful on that.

‘I think we want another three – probably four in an ideal world – before the transfer window.

‘When you look at it there would be seven new signings in total.’

Quite obviously we need some more arrivals – another player of so might depart, but again so long as this is not due to ‘hands being tied’ these will be players that we will not miss as much, so I suspect it will be a 1 in 1 out situation at the moment.

What we have to remember is we can still bring in players on loan from the domestic, and European leagues, so these are still options and there are some very good domestic players that we could look at in terms of a loan – one guy, depending on his availability and how much he will play for Arsenal this season, that I would be looking at would be Jack Wilshere. The kid oozes class and quality even at the tender age of 17…

I think we are at a more ‘stable’ position now, of course we are light on numbers and the quality has gone – but a lot of this quality that has left will only be lost in that quality sense by name alone, performance wise a number of them are better off gone!

Once again we all know it will be a tough season, without a doubt, we will be right in the dog fight for survival but it is not quite as bad as the ‘worst doom and gloomers’ would have you think…


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