On this day: Portsmouth plan raid on Wigan for striker... Manchester City defender on radar

On this day in 2006, Pompey were eyeing a move for Henri Camara.

Friday, 8th May 2020, 8:00 am
Harry Redknapp welcomes Sylvin Distin to Fratton Park

Dialogue has been held with Wigan over the availability of the striker.

But Pompey’s Premiership rivals were unlikely to be tempted by an offer of less than £4m.

At the time, Harry Redknapp was a long-term admirer of the Senegal international, signing him on loan from Wolves when he was in charge at Southampton.

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That impression was underlined when Camara tore apart Redknapp’s defence in the first half of Pompey’s 2-1 win at Wigan to secure their top-flight status for another season.

The Blues could not cope with Camara’s pace as he scored and had an onside goal controversially disallowed.

Camara’s goal was his 12th in the Premiership that season in just 25 starts.

Those strikes justified the £3m Wigan paid Wolves for the striker in August 2005.

Henri Camara

The purchase of at least one striker was crucial to Redknapp’s strengthening plans, which were likely to see the arrival of at least five new players.

Back then Pompey’s boss had three front-line strikers to choose from in Svetoslav Todorov, Lomana Lualua and Benjani Mwaruwari.

The Blues were also in talks over the permanent signing of Andres D'Alessandro - although negotiations were expected to be lengthy.

The deal would have been the most expensive ever put together by the club.

German side Wolfsburg wanted around £4m for the Argentinian midfielder who played 13 games on loan for Pompey that season.

Talks with D’Alessandro were proving difficult because his wage demands were also sizeable.

But the 25-year-old had told Pompey he wanted to join them.

Pompey were also being linked with a move for Aston Villa midfielder Lee Hendrie.

Meanwhile, Sander Westerveld had joined Aliou Cisse, Salif Diao and Azar Karada in leaving Fratton Park.

On this day in 2007, Redknapp was eyeing a fresh move for Sylvain Distin.

But he warned the Blues would face intense competition for the Manchester City centre-half.

Redknapp believed Distin, who was out of contract at the end of that season, was one of the best free transfers of the summer.

Pompey’s boss tried to sign the 29-year-old Frenchman the previous year.

Redknapp wanted to make up to six new signings in the transfer window, with his priority being a couple of strikers and an attacking midfielder.

But he needed to strengthen in defence, too.

Redknapp said: ‘I like Distin. He’s a good player, a great free transfer for someone. But I think he’s got plenty of offers.

‘He’s big, strong and quick – one of the best free transfers in the country this summer. He’s a top player.’

While Camara or Hendrie never made it to Pompey, Distin did – joining on a free transfer.

He played more than 70 games for the Blues – including the 2008 FA Cup final against Cardiff.

The defender signed for Everton for £5 million in 2009.

D’Alessandro also failed to make his loan move permanent, instead moving to Real Zaragoza on loan.