Niemi signs for Portsmouth

Portsmouth have confirmed the signing of goalkeeper Antti Niemi with the 37-year-old coming out of retirement to join the Barclays Premier League club.

Former Finland international Niemi left Fulham in September 2008 and had announced he was calling time on his career, which included spells at Rangers, Hearts and Southampton.

Pompey boss Paul Hart, who earlier this week signed French striker Frederic Piquionne on loan from Lyon, believes the experienced stopper, set to provide cover for England number one David James, still has plenty to offer.

"Antti has got vast experience and will be a welcome addition to the squad," Hart told the club's official website, www.portsmouthfc.co.uk.

"Our goalkeeping coach David Coles worked with him in the past and told me all about his character and his quality.

"He has a massive appetite to succeed and he relishes a challenge.

"It provides David James with some good competition and also allows Asmir Begovic to go out on loan, while Jamie Ashdown needs first-team football as well."

Portsmouth also confirmed midfielder Arnold Mvuemba has left the club after his contract was terminated by mutual consent.

The south-coast club may have sold England duo Peter Crouch and Glen Johnson this summer but chief executive Peter Storrie maintains they are not looking to allow any more departures.

Indeed, Pompey are understood to be keen on a deal for ex-Newcastle forward Mark Viduka.

James, defender Sylvain Distin and Croatia playmaker Niko Kranjcar have all been linked with moves away from Fratton Park.

However, Storrie maintained: "I want to avoid selling.

"If my hands are forced with certain things not happening it is a different situation - but we are not there yet.

"The ones that are going to go now are purely to do with tactical reasons."

Storrie told the Portsmouth News: "We want David, Sylvain and Niko to stay.

"It is no secret we have had an offer for Sylvain, but we flatly turned it down.

"We still continuously get enquiries - but we are just not interested in selling him.

"We want him to stay with us for the next two or three years and have had interim discussions with his agent on a new contract, so it is in his hands really."

Viduka, a free agent following Newcastle's relegation, is said to be ready to move to Pompey, but only on the right terms.

Cameroon international Modeste M'Bami will, however, not be offered a contract following a trial, although French winger Fabrice Pancrate may be offered a deal along with former Crewe man Eugen Bopp.

"We are working on a couple more, another one in a similar type of deal to Frederic Piquionne. We are hopeful on that," revealed Storrie.

"I think we want another three - probably four in an ideal world - before the transfer window.

"When you look at it there would be seven new signings in total."

Hart hopes his side will sign off what has been a difficult build-up campaign with a decent showing against Scottish champions Rangers.

"Pre-season has no bearing on what happens in the Premier League season, but my players have worked hard," he said.

"I want to see them working hard against Rangers like it was a Premier League game. That is what I expect."

Pompey have confirmed there will be a minute of applause ahead of their opening Barclays Premier League game against Fulham in honour of the late Sir Bobby Robson, who played and managed the visitors during his career.

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