On this day: Portsmouth battle Chelsea, Arsenal and West Ham for £10m-rated Ghana midfielder Stephen Appiah

On this day in 2008, Harry Redknapp said he had not yet given up hope of signing Ghanaian midfielder Stephen Appiah.

Sunday, 15th September 2019, 5:59 pm
Former Ghana midfielder Stephen Appiah

The then Blues boss admitted he was still hopeful a deal could be struck to land the free agent who had negotiated his release from Turkish side Fenerbahce. 

As a free agent, Appiah would have been allowed to join a new club outside of the transfer window and he was reportedly keen on a move to England.

It was believed Pompey were in a three-way tussle for the then 27-year-old with West Ham and Arsenal, although Gunners boss Arsene Wenger denied making any approach. 

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But there were also suggestions Chelsea had emerged as contenders following a knee injury to Appiah’s international team-mate Michael Essien. 

Redknapp, however, was a confirmed admirer of the powerful midfielder and admitted he had been chasing him for years. 

The Blues boss told The News at the time: ‘It hasn’t moved on really. He’s a good player, but I don’t know if I will be able to bring anyone else in. 

‘It’s not dead. I tried to buy him a couple of years ago and they were asking for £10m. 

‘He’s a good player, but whether I’m in a position to do it, I don’t know.’ 

Appiah would have commanded hefty wages and would have also expected a significant signing on fee as a free agent. 

Redknapp added: ‘He’s a free agent, but he won’t come cheap. He will be on big money. 

‘You never know whether we’ll be able to get him, but it’s up to Sacha Gaydamak. 

‘We’ve still got a good squad and we’ve got Niko Kranjcar to come back as well.’