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By ESPN Staff

Pompey reject 'hard up' claim

Portsmouth have rejected claims they were forced to 'sell' Harry Redknapp to Tottenham after reportedly agreeing a £5million compensation payment.

In completing his surprise move to White Hart Lane, Redknapp indicated he could take Pompey no further because owner Sacha Gaydamak was putting a freeze on spending in a bid to cut costs at Fratton Park.

The view has been greeted with scorn by Portsmouth, who have insisted Redknapp's departure had nothing to do with money.

Club sources have suggested Pompey were approached by Tottenham yesterday and, having spoken to Redknapp, decided not to stand in the way of a man who brought the FA Cup to the south coast last spring.

``The club gave Harry permission to speak with Tottenham and he decided to go.'' said a source close to Portsmouth.

``It certainly was not a case of selling the manager. The fact is he wanted to leave. Under those circumstances, Sacha took the view it would be wrong to stand in Harry's way.''

Pompey, who tackle Aston Villa this afternoon, admit there is a possibility Redknapp's opinion could be interpreted as fact, putting off potential candidates.

Sam Allardyce's name has already been mentioned, as has Avram Grant's.

The Israeli is a close personal friend of Gaydamak and Grant's arrival could smooth the transition of highly-rated coach Tony Adams into the managerial ranks.

Adams will take charge of the team today along with another member of Redknapp's backroom team, Joe Jordan, with Portsmouth insistent there will be no block on funds ahead of the January transfer window.

``The club signed Younes Kaboul from Tottenham on transfer deadline-day for £8million, which is hardly a sign of cutting corners,'' added the source.

``There is no need to get rid of players. On the contrary, the club invested significantly in the summer and will continue to do so.''

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