Appiah to seal £6m Pompey deal

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The Independent Football

Portsmouth are on the brink of completing the signing of the Ghana captain Steven Appiah after they made a formal offer to Fenerbahce last night to acquire the midfielder for £6m.

Appiah, 25, has been targeted by a number of Premiership clubs after an impressive World Cup finals and has made clear his desire to leave Turkey after a £5.7m move there last summer from Juventus. Harry Redknapp had been tracking Stilian Petrov but, since his likely decision to move to Aston Villa, Portsmouth have turned to Appiah as a replacement.

Fenerbahce are out of the Champions' League, beaten in the qualifiers by Dynamo Kiev, and Portsmouth expect the Turkish club to come back to them with an answer today. Redknapp had previously offered Fenerbahce £8m for the striker Nicolas Anelka, who eventually elected to join Bolton Wanderers.

Jonathan Woodgate is expected on Teesside today to undergo a medical with a view to completing a season-long loan move to Middlesbrough.

The 26-year-old Real Madrid defender visited the club's Rockliffe Park training headquarters on Monday, where he spoke to manager Gareth Southgate and chairman Steve Gibson before promising them a decision within 24 hours.

It is understood that reply, when it came, was positive and the Middlesbrough-born player will now undergo the required medical tests and look to complete the move ahead of tomorrow's transfer deadline.

Roman Grill, the agent acting for the England midfielder Owen Hargreaves, has said there is "no chance" of his leaving Bayern Munich for Manchester United unless the German club have a change of heart.

* Arsenal were last night said to be considering an improved offer from Atletico Madrid for Jose Antonio Reyes in a deal which could be worth £13.5m. However, it appears the Gunners are still willing to do business with Atletico's rivals Real, with fresh reports that their midfielder Julio Baptista could be on his way to the Emirates Stadium for £13m.

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