Dindane set to play in FA Cup final

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The Independent Football

Aruna Dindane looks set to be able to play for Portsmouth in the FA Cup final after an agreement was reached with French club Lens over the on-loan striker.

Ivory Coast international Dindane has become a regular in attack for the Pompey since he arrived on a season-long loan in August.

Indeed, the 29-year-old earned the penalty which Kevin-Prince Boateng scored to book Pompey's place in next month's FA Cup final with victory over Tottenham at Wembley.

However, should Dindane play another match, it will trigger a clause in his loan contract which will require Pompey to pay £4million to his parent club.

Portsmouth, who went into administration in February, cannot afford to pay the fee and Lens appeared unwilling to back down in the row.

Earlier in the season Lens were in dispute with Portsmouth over instalment payments involving Dindane's loan move as well as Nadir Belhadj's permanent transfer in December 2008

However, administrator Andrew Andronikou believes assurances are now in place to allow Dindane to feature in the cup final against Chelsea on May 15.

"Aruna in on his way back with a letter from Lens," Andrew Andronikou told BBC Sport.

"I have been told he can play the rest of our games - including the Chelsea final - and we won't have to pay any money."

The news will come as a relief to Pompey manager Avram Grant, who felt Lens' refusal to allow Portsmouth to put the striker in the shop window would reduce the likelihood of the Ligue 1 side offloading the striker at the end of the season, with Blackburn said to be keen on the Ivory Coast forward.

"If they want to sell Dindane then they will make it easier by allowing him to reproduce the kind of performance that he showed in the semi-final against Spurs. I don't understand it but this is their problem," Grant said.

"A contract is a contract, but I don't understand why they are doing this."

Andronikou continues his search for a new owner, with property tycoon Rob Lloyd fronting a takeover bid for an anonymous investor.

While no closer to a permanent deal behind the scenes, Andronikou remains positive about Portsmouth coming out of administration by the end of May, which could open up the chance to play in Europe next season.

"We hope the club will come out of administration by the end of May, or the first week of June at the latest," said Andronikou.

"Hopefully that will meet a lot of the criteria and our application will meet with approval. I think the Football Association and Premier League will be right behind our application (for a UEFA license)."

Andronikou, however, maintains it will be a much-changed squad next season.

"Unfortunately the financial position of the club is that we will have to change from a Premiership club to a Championship-playing squad," he said.

"There will be changes, but those decisions will be made at the end of the season.

"We have a cup final and we need to keep the players focused.

"So it is important we do not talk about changing the squad - that decision will be made at the end of the season."