Last updated : 31 July 2002 By
Shaun Derry has finally left Pompey in a cut price deal to Division 1 rivals Crystal Palace. The inspirational skipper has wanted to leave the club since close friend Graham Rix was sacked at the end of last season. He orignally refused to play for Harry Redknapp but has featured recently in order for scouts to get a final look at the combative midfielder.

The fee will rise to £600,000 after appearances but it still means that Pompey will not make a profit on the talented midfielder due to the market and their need for a quick sale. Millwall did offer £1million for Derry at the end of last season, but the deal wasn't accepted at that stage of the year. The London club refused to follow up their interest this close to the new season and Palace picked up Derry for a bargin price. Derry will be missed but he has not endeared himself to fans at the back end of last season due to a finger signal he gave to the North Stand after a below par peformance - quite simply, once Graham Rix left so did Shaun Derry in all but Derry.

His departure has however cleared the way for the creative midfielder Pompey so desperately need. There is current transfer talk that Gary O'Neil could leave the club for either Southampton or Charlton, leaving Pompey with a nice lump sum to balance the books. Current names include Paul Merson, Dion Dublin and Tim Sherwood. However the player should definitely be signed this week...