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By ESPN Staff
Jul 26, 2008

Redknapp confident of winning battle of Kaboul

Portsmouth manager Harry Redknapp has claimed victory in the race to sign Tottenham's Younes Kaboul.

Kaboul, 22, looked all set to link up with fellow Spurs stars Teemu Tainio, Pascal Chimbonda and Steed Malbranque at Sunderland after boss Roy Keane agreed a fee for all four.

But even though Keane is believed to have met with the French defender, who arrived at White Hart Lane with a lofty reputation which he failed to live up to, there was rival interest from Pompey and Aston Villa.

Now Redknapp believes his side are in pole position and could finalise a deal worth around £3million within a day.

He told the Daily Star: 'Sunderland and Villa both made fantastic offers, but the lad decided he wanted to come to Portsmouth.

'Hopefully the deal will be completed over the weekend. Younes is a good, young player with bags of potential. He will be a great addition to the squad.'

Meanwhile, Portsmouth had an eventful start to their pre-season trip to Nigeria after their plane aborted its landing in Abuja.

The aircraft, an Airbus 319, was close to touching down when the pilot abandoned the descent after failing to gain clearance from the control tower.

The squad were flown around for half an hour in stormy conditions before a successful landing was made.

Pompey defender Linvoy Primus told the club's official website: 'We were just above the runway when the pilot suddenly pulled the plane out of the landing and back up in the sky.

'We were all shocked. No-one knew what was happening. There had been no warning that there was a problem. But credit to the pilot who soon told us that he had been unable to establish contact with the tower and had decided not to land.

'After circling for half an hour in lightning he then managed to get us down safely.'

Portsmouth play Kano Pillars tonight before taking on Community Shield opponents Manchester United in a warm-up game tomorrow.

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