Pompey close on Carrick

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The Independent Online

Portsmouth have been told their £2.5m club record bid for the midfielder Michael Carrick is unacceptable - but West Ham United made it clear the door is not closed on negotiations.

Portsmouth have been told their £2.5m club record bid for the midfielder Michael Carrick is unacceptable - but West Ham United made it clear the door is not closed on negotiations.

Fine details in the financial package offered by Pompey are believed to be the only sticking points and they could have their man by Saturday. "It is a lot of money but quality costs a lot of money," said the Portsmouth chairman, Milan Mandaric.

"The fact that we are prepared to break our transfer fee record to get Michael Carrick shows the direction in which this club is still moving."

Crystal Palace offered £2m for the 23-year-old at the end of the season but at the time West Ham said they wanted no less than £3m. But the collapse of that deal is thought to be more about the player's reluctance to go to Selhurst Park than West Ham refusing to lower the price.

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