Pompey consider midfield options

Last updated : 06 May 2004 By Alex Dale
Portsmouth are keen to improve their midfield options for next season as they aim to survive in the all crucial 'second season' in the top flight. Russian midfielder Alexei Smertin, who has impressed on a season-long loan from Chelsea, is top of the shopping list.

Smertin moved from French side Bordeaux to Chelski for a cool 3 and a half million last summer, and if Smertin agrees to join Portsmouth on a permanent deal, it will all rest of Chelsea's evaluation of the player, as Portsmouth are unlikely to be in a position to bid such a fee for the player, despite the finances survival in the Premiership this term has bestowed upon the club.

Turkish international Muzzy Izzet - who has said he will leave the relegated midlanders during the summer break - is another target high on Harry Redknapp's wanted list, but will face competition from a host of other clubs for the experienced 29-year old - that, and his wages will top that of Portsmouth's current high earner, believed to be Eyal Berkovic.

Portsmouth have also been linked to defender Martin Keown - currently bidding for another Championship medal - who it is suspected is surplus to Arsene Wegner's plans at Arsenal.