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Pompey to resist Redknapp player approaches

Portsmouth are bracing themselves for bids for their best players from former manager Harry Redknapp in the January transfer window.

It is suspected in many quarters that Pompey's owner Alexandre Gaydamak - who only last month said he would consider serious alternative investment in the club - no longer has the financial muscle to repel serious bids for some of the stars who helped them win the FA Cup in May and qualifying for Europe for the first time.

With Redknapp seeking to strengthen his new Tottenham squad, there is the chance that major players like Jermain Defoe, Peter Crouch, Sylvain Distin, Glen Johnson and Lassana Diarra will also opt to follow their 61-year-old mentor to White Hart Lane.

Portsmouth chief executive Peter Storrie revealed it was a huge shock to lose Redknapp, who had been back at the club since December 2005 having quit a year earlier and controversially taken the manager's job at local rivals Southampton, adding that he may come back and sign players he had brought to Fratton Park for major fees.

Storrie said: ''I accept that many players did come here mostly because of Harry but that sort of thing also exists at other clubs.

''I don't know what is going to happen in the future because Harry's going is still a big shock.

''It is something we did everything in our power to prevent but in the end the lure of Tottenham was too much for him to resist.

''I've known him 14 years at West Ham and here and I know that he also wanted to manage a top club - in terms of great stadium and fantastic history - and I have to respect that as the reason why he's gone.

''We talked to him long and hard and I think, at several points, he changed his mind, but that was just the same as when he was offered the Newcastle job earlier this year.

''He turned that down in the end and we immediately gave him a new contract to 2011 but I did not expect to be dealing with the compensation for that already.

''We have to make it clear that it is Harry's choice to go and we have not done this for the money.

''Whatever Spurs give us as compensation is set in stone in the Premier League contract rules as either a fixed sum or whatever is left on a manager's contract.''

Meanwhile, Redknapp has said he will be in complete control of transfers at White Hart Lane.

Previous managers have been plagued by the system whereby sporting director Damien Comolli was in charge of drafting new players, but Comolli was shown the door along with former boss Juande Ramos at the weekend as former Portsmouth boss Redknapp made the move to London.

He said: "The chairman will do the deals but I'll pick the players. I wouldn't let anyone else buy my players.

"I'm not going to ask him to go and buy Ronaldo for me. There'll be some players out there in January who he'll bring in for us."

On possible assistants Redknapp added: "There are a couple of ex-Tottenham people who I think have great futures in the game. I would like to talk to them about coming here."


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