On this day: Harry Redknapp insists Portsmouth stars are not for sale

Former Pompey boss Harry Redknapp
Former Pompey boss Harry Redknapp
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On this day in 2008, Harry Redknapp promised he is not under pressure to dismantle his Pompey squad

The Blues manager had been reassured by owner Sacha Gaydamak he will not be forced to carry out a January fire sale in the wake of reports the chairman is looking to offload the club.

Redknapp spoke to Gaydamak after it was suggested he had put the club up for sale for an initial £40m.

It was also reported any new owner would have to take on debts rumoured to be as much as £60m – partly because of a spiralling wage bill – and that a shortage of cash meant plans for a new stadium would be shelved.

Pompey had earlier moved to deny Gaydamak was looking to sell – but at the same time said they would listen to offers.

The news provided a dramatic backdrop to a 2-0 victory over Spurs.

Redknapp admitted he had no idea if Gaydamak was looking to sell the club he bought in 2006.

But he insisted there was no heat on him to cash in on Pompey’s asset-rich squad, and revealed he had turned down a £15m offer for Lassana Diarra the previous January.

Redknapp said: ‘We are not in any trouble. But you show me a football club which is not up for sale. Every club has a price.

‘I don’t know if the owner wants to sell, but every club in the country has a price on its head.

‘When people talk about debts you have to realise that is the economic situation in football.

‘All clubs are in debt, but we have fantastic assets here on the pitch.

‘I turned down £15m for Lassana Diarra on transfer deadline day. Have a look at the players we could sell.

‘The owner is like anyone. If someone offers crazy money there are always going to be takes. But he has been brilliant for us. He has backed me all the way.

‘We have built a good squad of players and we don’t have to sell anyone in January.

‘I spoke to Sacha and he told me we don’t have to sell. He told me it’s my decision.’

Redknapp also moved to dispel the suggestion extravagant spending was the reason behind Pompey's debts.

He insisted he had offset the arrivals of the likes of England internationals Jermain Defoe and Peter Crouch by moving on other players like Pedro Mendes and Benjani.