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By ESPN Staff

Mandaric confident of prising Petrov from Celtic

Stilian Petrov is set to become a Portsmouth player by the weekend, according to Fratton Park chairman Milan Mandaric.

The Celtic midfielder signed a four-year contract with the Parkhead club in January but then controversially expressed a desire to leave the Hoops, a wish he has reiterated in recent weeks.

Pompey have made two bids for the 27-year-old Bulgarian international but on both occasions failed to meet Celtic's valuation of the player which Mandaric confirmed to be £5 million.

But the Portsmouth chairman told the Scottish Daily Mail that an agreement between the two clubs was imminent.

He said: 'We are still in close contact with Celtic and are talking to them about Petrov.

'I am very hopeful that we can conclude those talks over a few days and he'll come to us. Perhaps even by the weekend.

'He's the guy that our manager Harry Redknapp really wants and I think we are getting closer now on the fee.

'He is a good player and I totally understand Celtic's position on this.

'I respect their demands and their desires and I would be doing the same if I was them.

'But I am an optimist on these matters and we feel we will land Petrov.'