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Arsenal must end season on a high

By ESPN Staff

Crouch agrees terms on £11m Pompey deal

Portsmouth are expected to tie up the signing of Peter Crouch from Liverpool in the next two days.

Crouch has agreed personal terms with Portsmouth and the England striker will complete his move to Fratton Park providing his medical results are acceptable.

The 27-year-old will be joining Portsmouth for the second time, having played for the club in the 2001/02 season before joining Aston Villa.

Liverpool manager Rafael Benitez admitted he wanted to keep Crouch at Anfield, but the player's desire for regular first-team football persuaded him to seek a summer move.

The deal, worth around £10million, will see Crouch join fellow England international Jermain Defoe at Portsmouth, and they could be a regular partnership next season as boss Harry Redknapp looks to follow up the club's FA Cup triumph with an improved league finish.

Portsmouth finished eighth in the Barclays Premier League last season, but qualified for the UEFA Cup via the cup.

Crouch scored 19 goals in 39 games in his first spell at Portsmouth.

His first-team opportunities at Liverpool became limited last season following the signing of Fernando Torres, although he still managed 11 goals.

In total, he netted 42 times in 135 appearances over three years with Liverpool.

Benitez has targeted Valencia striker David Villa as a replacement for Crouch.

Villa formed a partnership with Fernando Torres that helped Spain win the European Championship this summer.

'We will try to bring in another option. Villa is a player we know all about and he is on our list. But maybe it will be difficult,' said Benitez.

Benitez insisted that the situation is not a desperate one adding: 'We have Torres, Andriy Voronin, Dirk Kuyt, Ryan Babel and Steven Gerrard, who can play as a second striker.'

Meanwhile, Portsmouth goalkeeper Asmir Begovic has signed a new three-year deal at the club.

The 21-year-old, who was born in Bosnia but raised in Canada, has yet to make a first-team appearance at Fratton Park.

And the club have also offered a trial to former Chelsea and Newcastle full-back Celestine Babayaro.

Babayaro has been a free agent since an ill-fated move to Los Angeles Galaxy ended after just 45 minutes.

Now the 29-year-old is bidding to win a permanent Fratton Park deal after being granted a week's trial.


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