On this day: Pompey boss Harry Redknapp targets West Ham and former Newcastle United winger
On this day a decade ago, Harry Redknapp hinted he could be set to make a move for Nobby Solano as talk of Peter Crouch's arrival gatheredÂ pace.
West Ham’s Peruvian winger had reportedly been told to find another club, as Hammers boss Alan Curbishley planned a summer overhaul of his squad.
Redknapp tried to sign the 33-year-old before he joined West Ham in 2007 and was available on a free transfer again.
With reports suggesting Crouch would seal an £8m move to Pompey from Liverpool, Redknapp’s summer squad strengthening looked ready to kick into gear.
Redknapp said: ‘Nobby is a good little footballer and he did well last season at West Ham – he did a good job for them.
‘I could have had him last year when he was on a free.
‘We ended up taking other people in the end.
‘I know we’re a bit short in wide areas and we certainly need to strengthen there.
‘But nothing has happened there – it’s not one we’re close to doing at the moment.’
With just John Utaka on the books as a recognised right-sided midfielder, Pompey certainly needed cover in that position.
And the experienced Solano would have been a typical Redknapp signing who would have added strength to the squad ahead of the club’s impending European campaign.
Meanwhile, the ongoing pursuit of Crouch was reported to be nearing a conclusion – with the England man set to sign a four-year deal worth £60,000 a week.
Redknapp insisted he was in the dark on the current status of the transfer, though.
He said: ‘I honestly don’t know what the situation is.
‘Peter Storrie deals with that side of things. I tell him who I want.
‘Crouchie is a player I like – I’ve made no secret of that – but only at the right money and that is what Peter Storrie deals with.
‘Peter does all the dealing with the clubs and the players.’
Liverpool slapped a £15m price tag on the former Blues hitman.
And although Reds boss Rafa Benitez appeared to have softened his stance, Redknapp insisted Pompey would not be pressured into paying over the odds for any player they were chasing.
Redknapp said: ‘Players have got their values and you only want to pay what you feel is a fair price.
‘If you can’t get that, you move on to someone else.’
The Pompey boss, however, was quick to shoot down speculation linking Lassana Diarra with an £8m move to Manchester City and Niko Kranjcar with a switch to Italian giants AS Roma.
Redknapp added: ‘It’s absolute rubbish – there’s not a chance I want to let Lassana go.
‘There will always be speculation about good players, but there’s no way that’s a possibility.
‘There’s not a chance we want to lose him.
‘I haven’t heard about any interest from Roma for Niko, but I’m sure there will be a lot of clubs interested in Niko.
‘He’s a terrific player and there will be some top clubs interested in him.
‘But we want to keep our best players.’
Word by Steve Wilson