Pompey may increase pay-off offer to secure Redknapp

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The Independent Football

Portsmouth still want Harry Redknapp as their new manager and may make an improved offer of compensation to Southampton this morning.

They remain reluctant to meet the £175,000 demanded by their South Coast rivals but were last night considering an increase on the £50,000 - plus £75,000 if they survive relegation from the Premiership - that they have so far said they are prepared to pay and which was rejected. The option is still there for Redknapp, who walked out of Southampton last Friday, to contribute .

It is understood that neither the Northern Ireland manager Lawrie Sanchez nor the former Republic of Ireland manager Brian Kerr, who have been named as candidates by the Portsmouth chairman Milan Mandaric, have had any further contact with the club. Both are keen on the post.

It could be that Mandaric is waiting for Alex McLeish to become available, which is likely to follow the completion of Rangers' Champions' League group matches last night.

Redknapp said last night: "I still do not know what is going on. Rupert Lowe has not been in touch and the whole situation is crazy. It needs to be sorted because the most important thing is I still want to go back to Portsmouth and I still think that can happen."

Southampton will hold a board meeting tomorrow to consider Redknapp's successor. The appointment of Sir Clive Woodward is likely to be discussed, despite his public statements that it would be too soon , while the club have received many applications. Whoever is appointed will have to work with Woodward.

The Southampton chairman, Rupert Lowe, may also receive some criticism from the club's directors for the rejection of Portsmouth's initial offer, especially as Southampton were not going to renew Redknapp's contract when it expired next summer and are happy to see him go now.

Portsmouth are equally adamant that they will have their new manager in place by the end of the week and, privately, Redknapp is understood to believe he is still the front runner.

Discussions are still taking place for the return of the man who walked out 12 months ago. If he is appointed tomorrow, it will happen a year to the day that he arrived at Southampton.

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