How Portsmouth came close to signing former West Ham, Spurs and Manchester United midfielder Michael Carrick

Pompey were ‘about an hour away’ from signing former West Ham, Spurs and Manchester United midfielder Michael Carrick - according to ex-boss Harry Redknapp.

By Sam Cox
Saturday, 4th December 2021, 4:55 am

With the midfielder having just left Old Trafford in the aftermath of Ole Gunnar Solskjær’s departure, the Blues’ 2008 FA Cup-winning manager recalled the series of events which saw him agonisingly miss out on the player’s services in 2004.

At the end of the 2003-04 campaign, Carrick was searching for a top-flight transfer after missing out on promotion with West Ham.

And his former Hammers manager was keen to bring him to Fratton Park after a 13th-placed finish in Pompey’s maiden Premier League campaign.

Sign up to our Portsmouth FC newsletter

The midfielder even met with Redknapp and chief executive Peter Storrie, with all signs leading to the Wallsend-born man signing moving to the south coast.

But the now 74-year-old explained how his judgment was used by Spurs owner Daniel Levy to tempt Carrick to north London at the last minute instead.

In his most recent Sun Sport column, Redknapp said: ‘I know Carrick very well. I took him to West Ham when he was 12 and was about an hour away from signing him for Pompey, too

‘I’ve always had a lot of time for Carrick and when I was at Pompey, I had a deal in place to sign him from West Ham for about £2.4m.

Michael Carrick was on the move from West Ham in 2004 - but had a late change of heart about joining Pompey. Picture: Phil Cole/Getty Images

‘It was all agreed and he was actually halfway down the motorway for a medical when I got a phone call from his agent saying Spurs wanted him.

‘Jacques Santini was manager at the time but didn’t have a clue about it. Levy was the one who did the deal.

‘Daniel told me when he saw I wanted Michael, having worked with him at West Ham, there must be something about him and at the price, it was worth taking a chance.

‘So Michael and his agent turned around at the next exit, went to Spurs and from there he ended up going to United.’

Michael Carrick came close to joining Pompey ahead of the 2004-05 Premier League season. (Photo by Martin Rickett - Pool/Getty Images)

Carrick went to White Hart Lane in a deal worth £2.75m that summer.

He went on to make 74 appearances for Tottenham before being sold to United for £18.6 in 2006.

At Old Trafford, Carrick won five Premier League titles, the Champions League and the FA Cup before retiring in 2018.

Among the new arrivals at Fratton Park that 2004 pre-season were Teddy Sherringham, Vincent Pericard, Amdy Faye, Sebastien Schemmel and Harald Wapenaar.

A message from the Editor, Mark WaldronYou can support our local team of expert Pompey writers by subscribing here for all the latest news from Fratton Park for 14p a day.