Blackburn finally sign McCarthy

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The Independent Football

Blackburn Rovers have completed the signing of Benni McCarthy on a four-year contract from Porto. Rovers have not revealed the fee, although it has been reported to be in the region of £2.5m.

Mark Hughes, the Blackburn manager, will hope the South African striker can prove a suitable replacement for Craig Bellamy, who has moved to Liverpool.

The Blackburn chairman, John Williams, said: "We tried to sign Benni 12 months ago and we have been tracking the situation since then. We are delighted that we have managed to bring him to Rovers."

The club suffered a double pre-season setback last night, losing 5-0 away to the Greek side Olympiakos and losing their goalkeeper Peter Enckelman in a freak pre-match injury. Enckelman twisted his foot in the netting during the warm-up and had to be replaced by Brad Friedel.

Hughes described the result as "alarming", adding that Olympiakos had given his side "a good hiding".

Portsmouth have handed the former Liverpool and Blackburn midfielder David Thompson a year-long contract after signing him on a free transfer.

The 28-year-old was released by Wigan at the end of last season after joining them from Blackburn in January and scoring two goals in 10 games. Thompson is Portsmouth's second summer signing after the Chelsea right-back Glen Johnson, who has joined on a year-long loan.

However, the Portsmouth manager, Harry Redknapp, has rejected the Serbian striker Nikola Zigic as a possible new recruit at Fratton Park and may now move instead for Preston North End's David Nugent, who was turned down by the former Portsmouth manager Alain Perrin a year ago.

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