Redknapp poised to prise Quashie from Portsmouth

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The Independent Football

Harry Redknapp's plummeting popularity in the Portsmouth area dropped another notch yesterday as he tabled a bid for Nigel Quashie which looks like being accepted. The Southampton manager, who made his controversial move along the south coast last month, reopened lines of communication with his former chairman Milan Mandaric to offer £2m for the Scottish international midfielder.

Harry Redknapp's plummeting popularity in the Portsmouth area dropped another notch yesterday as he tabled a bid for Nigel Quashie which looks like being accepted. The Southampton manager, who made his controversial move along the south coast last month, reopened lines of communication with his former chairman Milan Mandaric to offer £2m for the Scottish international midfielder.

Mandaric said of Quashie, who has 18 months left on his contract: "We would like to keep Nigel but they have been aggressive and sometimes it's a business decision."

The 26-year-old was signed by Tony Pulis from Nottingham Forest for £600,000 in July 2000 but it was under Redknapp he was made club captain and won international honours.

Mandaric added: "We want to hang on to our players but if they want to go they will leave. If you get a good bid you have to look from a business point of view and get somebody else in."

The one consolation for Portsmouth fans is that Quashie will not be able to play against them in the FA Cup fourth round tie between the clubs on 29 January. Quashie is cup-tied having featured in Portsmouth's third round victory over Gillingham. Unsurprisingly, the south-coast derby was among the ties chosen by the BBC yesterday for live television coverage.

More worrying for Ports- mouth fans is that Aiyegbeni Yakubu, their leading striker, could also have left the club by then. Mandaric said yesterday he has lined up three possible replacements should the Nigerian international, coveted by Newcastle United, move on.

The chairman's hand may be forced by a trigger-clause agreement with the Israeli club Maccabi Haifa, Yakubu's former club. Portsmouth are obliged to accept any bid over £6m, of which Maccabi would get half.

Mandaric said: "We we will try to keep him, he is an important player for us but it may be out of our hands. We've got three players lined up, a Premiership striker and two from overseas at a similar level."

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