Grant looks set for Portsmouth exit

Portsmouth are stepping up efforts to give their squad a "firm base" next season, but manager Avram Grant looks set for a switch to West Ham.

The financially stricken club are preparing for life in the Coca-Cola Championship, as they aim to come out of administration which saw them docked nine points by the Premier League.

Administrator Andrew Andronikou appears resigned to Grant's departure.

The 55-year-old wanted assurances over future stability under new ownership, and the Hammers now appear to be free to step up their pursuit of the Israeli, whose stature rose after guiding Pompey against the odds to the FA Cup final.

Whoever is in charge at Fratton Park next season will be taking over a much-changed squad, with several high earners set to leave along with those at the end of their loan deals like Aruna Dindane, who could now join Bolton on a £2.5million permanent deal from Lens.

Coaches Paul Groves, Ian Woan and Dave Coles, rather than Grant, have been looking to shape the playing staff.

Defender Hermann Hreidarsson, who missed the end of the season with an Achilles injury, and England keeper David James are those understood to have been offered new contracts already, while Pompey are also keen to retain Ricardo Rocha as well as promising youngsters Lenny Sowah, Joel Ward and Marlon Pack.

"Over the next few days we will make public who is going to be released," Andronikou said in the Portsmouth News.

"There are half a dozen at the club we would have been looking to let go anyway, regardless of administration.

"One of those is [Angelos] Basinas, who has not been a regular this season and it makes sense for him to leave.

"There are others we want to keep, though, and we have spoken to Hermann about a new contract.

"We held talks on Friday ahead of him going on holiday yesterday and he definitely wants to stay.

"We need people like him at this football club next year.

"He has that tremendous passion and desire, as well as caring about the club deeply.

"Rocha is another we are looking at speaking to.

"We will also be offering contracts to Ward and Pack, who represent the future of this club and are highly regarded. Another promising youngster is Sowah, who has one year left and is going to be offered an extension.

"Rest assured, we are working hard to give this squad a firm base for next season."

Andronikou maintained there was no hidden agenda behind whom the club would be looking to retain.

"The coaching staff are advising us on who should remain at Fratton Park. They have full control and it is down to them," he said.

"After all, they are the experts and have been given full autonomy to shape the club's squad for next season."

Portsmouth, meanwhile, could be ready to make a formal application to the Football Association for a UEFA club license in an attempt to secure a place in next season's Europa League, which they would have been entitled to as runners-up against double winners Chelsea in the FA Cup final.

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Day In a Page

Fishing for votes with Nigel Farage: The Ukip leader shows how he can work an audience as he casts his line to the disaffected of Grimsby

Fishing is on Nigel Farage's mind

Ukip leader casts a line to the disaffected
Who is bombing whom in the Middle East? It's amazing they don't all hit each other

Who is bombing whom in the Middle East?

Robert Fisk untangles the countries and factions
China's influence on fashion: At the top of the game both creatively and commercially

China's influence on fashion

At the top of the game both creatively and commercially
Lord O’Donnell: Former cabinet secretary on the election and life away from the levers of power

The man known as GOD has a reputation for getting the job done

Lord O'Donnell's three principles of rule
Rainbow shades: It's all bright on the night

Rainbow shades

It's all bright on the night
'It was first time I had ever tasted chocolate. I kept a piece, and when Amsterdam was liberated, I gave it to the first Allied soldier I saw'

Bread from heaven

Dutch survivors thank RAF for World War II drop that saved millions
Britain will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power - Labour

How 'the Axe' helped Labour

UK will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power
Rare and exclusive video shows the horrific price paid by activists for challenging the rule of jihadist extremists in Syria

The price to be paid for challenging the rule of extremists

A revolution now 'consuming its own children'
Welcome to the world of Megagames

Welcome to the world of Megagames

300 players take part in Watch the Skies! board game in London
'Nymphomaniac' actress reveals what it was really like to star in one of the most explicit films ever

Charlotte Gainsbourg on 'Nymphomaniac'

Starring in one of the most explicit films ever
Robert Fisk in Abu Dhabi: The Emirates' out-of-sight migrant workers helping to build the dream projects of its rulers

Robert Fisk in Abu Dhabi

The Emirates' out-of-sight migrant workers helping to build the dream projects of its rulers
Vince Cable interview: Charging fees for employment tribunals was 'a very bad move'

Vince Cable exclusive interview

Charging fees for employment tribunals was 'a very bad move'
Iwan Rheon interview: Game of Thrones star returns to his Welsh roots to record debut album

Iwan Rheon is returning to his Welsh roots

Rheon is best known for his role as the Bastard of Bolton. It's gruelling playing a sadistic torturer, he tells Craig McLean, but it hasn't stopped him recording an album of Welsh psychedelia
Morne Hardenberg interview: Cameraman for BBC's upcoming show Shark on filming the ocean's most dangerous predator

It's time for my close-up

Meet the man who films great whites for a living
Increasing numbers of homeless people in America keep their mobile phones on the streets

Homeless people keep mobile phones

A homeless person with a smartphone is a common sight in the US. And that's creating a network where the 'hobo' community can share information - and fight stigma - like never before