Adams: We could have got Dzeko and Toure

Tony Adams had grand ambitions during his time as Pompey boss
Tony Adams had grand ambitions during his time as Pompey boss
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Yaya Toure and Edin Dzeko represent Premier League champions Manchester City.

Per Mertesacker turns out for perennial Champions League qualifiers Arsenal, while Darijo Srna is the long-standing captain of Croatia.

Star-quality international players lined up to join Premier League Pompey during Tony Adams’ reign.

Then the Fratton Park finances imploded in December 2008 when Sacha Gaydamak announced he would no longer be footing the bills.

A tale of what could have been for Blues fans.

More importantly, an indication of the grand ambitions the club were chasing which ultimately hastened their demise.

Adams was sacked as boss four years ago today by Gaydamak.

However, he still remembers the dream that almost was.

Adams said: ‘Once before a game, Peter Storrie (executive chairman) came to me and said we could get Yaya Toure for £75,000 a week.

‘No disrespect to Hayden Mullins, who arrived a few months later instead, but I was definitely having that!

‘Then there was Dzeko, who was at a training camp in Seville with Wolfsburg at the time.

‘Peter said we could have him for £8m and it was ready to go. Wolfsburg were lining up a player from Spain as a replacement.

‘It never materialised for one reason or another.

‘At that stage maybe Peter realised he didn’t have the money.

‘The only reason I got the first pick on it was because we played against them in the Uefa Cup.

‘We had him on video and our technical guys, who at that stage were probably the best in the Premier League, were drooling.

‘I always remember before we played Wolfsburg they said: “have a look at this player who is going to destroy us”.

‘He reminded me a bit of Alan Smith at the time. A super-dooper player.

‘At that stage I had lined up a whole list. I was very professional on that basis, rather than just ringing agents and seeing who was available.

‘There was a right-back for Shakhtar Donetsk called Darijo Srna and we put in a few bids.

‘A deal had been done for Glen Johnson and he was off to Liverpool at the end of the season so I was looking ahead.

‘Donetsk didn’t want to budge, though.

‘They said whatever offer, we are not going to have him.

‘Then we couldn’t put in any more bids.

‘The goalkeeper (David James) was fine, but Sol Campbell was going to leave at the end of the season so we were in for Mertesacker.

‘I had the list – they were all there – but it kind of got ripped up so we had to start another one.’

Instead of the quartet, Adams brought in Mullins, Angelos Basinas, Theofanis Gekas and Pele.

Mullins aside, the other three made just 21 appearances between them for Pompey.