On this day: Former Fulham and Newcastle midfielder Lee Clarke keen on Pompey move

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On this day in 2005, Lee Clark called Pompey and asked: Can I play for you?

The midfielder rang Blues chief executive Peter Storrie hoping to get a contract at Fratton Park.

Former Newcastle and Fulham midfielder Lee Clark

Former Newcastle and Fulham midfielder Lee Clark

Pompey told the 32-year-old they would bear him in mind – but that there were other targets in front of him.

Norwich’s Damien Francis and Chelsea’s Alexei Smertin were the pair at the top of Pompey’s midfield hit list.

But the Blues dismissed reports linking them with Charlton midfielder Matt Holland.

Clark, who was available on a free transfer after being released by Fulham, was prepared to take a drop in wages to join Pompey.

The former Newcastle and Sunderland player, who was an England under-21 international, prefered to stay in the south despite interest from Leeds.

Storrie told The News: ‘Lee Clark rang us up. He’s looking for a club. We’ve taken note of what he said, but we’ve got other targets in that direction that would be ahead of him at the moment.

‘I had a nice chat with him – although his Geordie accent was a bit strong! 

'He’s a good player on his day. 

'We’re aware of his availability, but there are other priorities.’ 

Clark’s age and battle with injuries reduced his chances of a deal at Fratton Park.

Pompey were considering a fresh offer for Norwich’s Francis after having a bid in the region of £1.4m rejected.

Canaries chief executive Neil Doncaster said: ‘We tend to comment on such approaches only when they meet our valuation of the player concerned. 

'We have had no approach for Damien that is of interest to us at this time.’ 

Storrie, meanwhile, shot down reports linking Pompey with a move for 35-year-old NAC Breda striker Pierre van Hooijdonk.

He said: ‘There’s not a chance of van Hooijdonk coming here. And there’s no truth in stories saying we want Charlton’s Matt Holland.’