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By ESPN Staff

South African interest in Portsmouth takeover

Portsmouth could become the latest Premier League club to change hands amid reports that owner Alexandre Gaydamak has held talks with South African mining giant Central Rand Gold.

Gaydamak's willingness to offload his interest in the Fratton Park outfit has been known for some time.

Although he would not sell to any party he felt was incapable of building on the club's recent success, Harry Redknapp's departure to Spurs was seen as bad news for last season's FA Cup winners and many fans would welcome a change of owner.

Central Rand Gold chief executive Greg James and super agent Pini Zahavi are the prime movers behind such a deal.

However, as some observers expected negotiations to reach a successful conclusion last week, the fact nothing has been announced has raised concerns over whether negotiations have hit an unexpected hitch.

Zahavi's potential involvement inevitably raises the prospect of Avram Grant returning to Pompey as director of football, possibly accompanied by Slaven Bilic.

Tony Adams has barely got his feet under the table as Redknapp's successor, but past history suggests buy-outs of this nature tend to result in a change of manager.

Despite their large and loyal fan base, Portsmouth's scope for development has been limited by Fratton Park's cramped environment, although a 36,000-capacity stadium at Horsea Island has the potential to change that scenario should planning consent ultimately be granted.


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