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Hart considering offer to stay at Portsmouth

Sacked Portsmouth manager Paul Hart is considering an offer to remain at the club as technical director.

Pompey last night released a statement announcing Hart had declined the role after being relieved of his duties as first-team boss.

The situation became clouded as reports later emerged claiming Hart had not turned down the new position, which entails overseeing the development of players aged 18 to 21.

A club spokesman said today: "Paul Hart is considering the position of technical director.

"He had a further conversation with (chief executive) Peter Storrie last night and said he would go away and get back to us.

"Hopefully he will stay at the club and work in the capacity of technical director. Everyone at the club would be delighted if he stayed."

Hart has paid the price for the club's poor start to the Barclays Premier League season.

The south coast club are bottom of the table having gained just seven points from 13 games.

Former Chelsea boss Avram Grant has been installed as the early favourite to succeed Hart despite attempting to distance himself from the position.

The Israeli would be an obvious internal choice having returned to the club for a second spell as director of football in October.

He took charge of Chelsea in similar circumstances two years ago and went on to lead the London club to the Champions League final.

Darren Ferguson is also among the leading contenders having left Peterborough, the club he guided to two promotions, earlier this month.

The experienced Steve Coppell and Alan Curbishley, who are both out of work, could also be candidates.