Window Of Opportunity

Last updated : 02 January 2007 By Jim Bonner
January is usually an exciting time for Pompey fans, although because we're doing so well this season Harry might curb his wheeling and dealing a bit. Past Januarys have seen us bring in plenty of players but this time perhaps we should be more worried about players leaving?

Kanu and Sol Campbell are the two main players linked with a move away. The former constantly "claims" to want to move to Ajax but the reports detailing these claims are apparently false, as the Nigerian international told the local rag today that he wants to stay at Fratton Park and is waiting for a new offer so he can settle in the area. I also have it on good authority that Nigerian newspaper Vanguard is about as a reputable source as The Sun.

Campbell has been linked to Chelsea recently although the main reason he left Arsenal was to get out of the media spotlight so surely a move to Stamford Bridge would defeat the object of coming here in the first place? I can't see this move materialising anyway as Sol has stated on more than one occasion that he's enjoying his football at Pompey.

Players that I expect to leave this month are Dean Kiely, Andy Griffin, Andy O'Brien, Svetoslav Todorov (Permanently), Franck Songo'o and Rodolphe Douala.

As for players coming in, we've been linked to a fair few this season although none of these links appear to be concrete.

One of the most recent stories is that Andres D'Alessandro wants to return to Pompey, according to his agents who have reportedly been in contact with the club. D'Alessandro hasn't had the most successful time at Real Zaragoza and could cut his loan spell off and join us, but do we really need him?

What we definitely need is defensive cover and Birmingham's Matthew Upson would fit the bill nicely. He isn't going to sign a new deal with the current Championship leaders so the 27-year-old could well be a target for us, although he won't come cheap and no doubt there will be other clubs interested too. Bolton's Tal Ben Haim has also been touted as another defensive option as well as PSV Eindhoven's Michael Ball.

Harry has also been scouting the French league and it's possible that we might see tough Toulouse midfielder Achille Emana, promising young striker Andre-Pierre Gignac and maybe another possible approach for RC Lens winger Olivier Thomert.

Of course, Harry likes a striker or two and although he says he's happy with what he has got it hasn't stopped such players as Preston's David Nugent, Fredy Eastwood of Southend and England international; Jermain Defoe. The Pompey gaffer has previously said a winger with pace is his priority though. Shaun Wright-Phillips anyone?

Ghanian duo Stephen Appiah and Sulley Muntari of Fenerbache and Udinese respectively claimed after the summer that Pompey were going to sign them, so we'll have to wait and see on that one.

Whatever happens between now and the end of this month, it's sure going to be exciting!