Wayne Routledge yesterday became the fourth player to move from Tottenham Hotspur to Portsmouth in the transfer window after agreeing a loan deal until the end of the season.
The 21-year-old winger joined Pompey along with the Serbia midfielder Ognjen Koroman, who has agreed a loan move from the Russian club Terek Groznyi. That followed the Premiership strugglers losing out on the signing of their former captain Nigel Quashie, who was in talks with West Bromwich Albion yesterday after his present club, Southampton, agreed to sell him for around £1.5m.
Portsmouth also remain hopeful that they will today land the Porto striker Benni McCarthy, although they will have to raise their bid from £4.1m to a club record £6.2m.
If the South African arrives it will take the number of players signed by the manager, Harry Redknapp, to nine at a cost of £17.8m. The Routledge move follows the £7m triple deal to take Pedro Mendes, Sean Davis and Noe Pamarot from White Hart Lane.
Routledge has made just three appearances for Spurs since signing from Crystal Palace last July. "We are crying out for a wide man and to get someone in the mould of Wayne is tremendous," Redknapp said.
The winger's arrival may precipitate the departure of Matthew Taylor if a deal can be completed in time. The 24-year-old was close to a move to Fulham, but a £1.2m bid was rejected. The Cottagers were yesterday trying to complete the transfer of midfielder Michael Brown, another Spurs player who can leave, for £1.7m, if his replacement, Feyenoord's Hossam Ghaly, is signed.
Fulham have also turned again to Middlesbrough's Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink proposing an 18-month contract for the 33-year-old, whose current deal expires in the summer. If Middlesbrough were not in relegation danger then the Dutchman would have been allowed to leave by now. But the manager, Steve McClaren, is nervous about letting him go, given the club's predicament and their injury crisis, and because he cannot sign replacements.
West Ham United hope to finalise a deal to sign Barcelona's Gabri. The 26-year-old was last night travelling to London for a medical and to discuss personal terms. West Ham had planned to take the Spaniard on loan but it appears he will now sign a permanent three-year contract.