Diarra fee set aside to pay bills

Portsmouth's £18.7m windfall needed for payments on Defoe and Crouch

Portsmouth need to use a significant part of the €20m (£18.7m) they will receive from the sale of Lassana Diarra to Real Madrid to cover the next installments due on the transfer fees of Jermain Defoe and Peter Crouch, who arrived this year from Tottenham Hotspur and Liverpool respectively.

The fact that Portsmouth require the cash to meet the payments for their England strikers will cause alarm among supporters – and runs contrary to the claim of manager Tony Adams that he will be able to spend all the income – but it also offers some reassurance that a fire sale will not be conducted when the transfer window opens next month.

Twenty per cent of the fee for the deal will go to Diarra's former club Arsenal in a sell-on clause after the France international moved to Fratton Park for £5.5m in January, while there will be some money left over to pursue transfer targets.

Portsmouth have approached French club Le Mans to inquire about their 26-year-old goalkeeper Yohann Pelé, who is out of contract next summer, which raises the prospect of David James being sold, to Spurs. Their manager Harry Redknapp is expected to bid for right-back Glen Johnson but the England international would only be allowed to go if a replacement was signed first.

The defender Lauren, who is set to leave Portsmouth next month, claimed in an interviewed published yesterday by the Spanish sports newspaper As, that "the team is dismantling itself and big sides are coming in". Lauren, who has been out of favour, added: "Diarra is not the only one, Defoe as well is returning to Tottenham, and Glen Johnson is leaving.

"The economic situation is very bad and we are aware of it. Look at the signings they made two years ago - they bought myself, Sol Campbell, Defoe, Pedro Mendes, who has moved to Rangers. Well, the majority of them are going to leave. I'm leaving in January as well, going to Turkey or Greece."

However, Portsmouth are adamant that owner Alexandre Gaydamak, who is under financial pressure and is looking to sell the club, will not have to break up the squad. A source said that Diarra's imminent departure had given Gaydamak, who was close to reaching a deal with a South African consortium last month and is still in contact with the potential buyers, more time.

Further payments are due for Defoe – who cost £9m – and £11m record signing Crouch, which Gaydamak may have struggled to meet had Diarra not been sold. In any case Defoe could not return to Spurs in January as he only completed his move from White Hart Lane last summer.

Nevertheless, Portsmouth, who have significant debts and a large wage bill, do face an uncertain future. Twelve players – including captain Sol Campbell, Sean Davis, Noé Pamarot and Herman Hreidarsson – are out of contract next summer, while Niko Kranjcar, who was the subject of a £13m bid last summer, could again be a target and other senior players, such as Sylvain Distin, may be unsettled by the departures.

Adams remains determined that he will receive financial backing, however. "I have all that [Diarra] money – and more," he said when asked about the funds available to him. "I had money anyway. They [the board] are going to do exactly what they did for Harry [Redknapp] to me. It's exactly the same. I've got players in mind and that's been the case since I came into the job. I think you've got to get it right. Harry was fantastic at it and hopefully I've learnt a little bit off the master."

Adams is believed to have made signing a right-sided midfielder a priority and there has been some contact with Middlesbrough about the former Portsmouth captain, Gary O'Neil, who has failed to settle on Teesside and may be sold if a fee of around £4m is agreed.

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Club legend Paul Scholes is scared United could disappear into 'the wilderness'
Life and Style
food + drink
Malky Mackay salutes the Cardiff fans after the 3-1 defeat at Liverpool on Sunday
footballFormer Cardiff boss accused of sending homophobic, racist and messages
Arts and Entertainment
Martin Amis: Taken to task over rash decisions and ill-judged statements
booksThe Zone of Interest just doesn't work, says James Runcie
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Day In a Page

Middle East crisis: We know all too much about the cruelty of Isis – but all too little about who they are

We know all too much about the cruelty of Isis – but all too little about who they are

Now Obama has seen the next US reporter to be threatened with beheading, will he blink, asks Robert Fisk
Neanderthals lived alongside humans for centuries, latest study shows

Final resting place of our Neanderthal neighbours revealed

Bones dated to 40,000 years ago show species may have died out in Belgium species co-existed
Scottish independence: The new Scots who hold fate of the UK in their hands

The new Scots who hold fate of the UK in their hands

Scotland’s immigrants are as passionate about the future of their adopted nation as anyone else
Britain's ugliest buildings: Which monstrosities should be nominated for the Dead Prize?

Blight club: Britain's ugliest buildings

Following the architect Cameron Sinclair's introduction of the Dead Prize, an award for ugly buildings, John Rentoul reflects on some of the biggest blots on the UK landscape
eBay's enduring appeal: Online auction site is still the UK's most popular e-commerce retailer

eBay's enduring appeal

The online auction site is still the UK's most popular e-commerce site
Culture Minister Ed Vaizey: ‘lack of ethnic minority and black faces on TV is weird’

'Lack of ethnic minority and black faces on TV is weird'

Culture Minister Ed Vaizey calls for immediate action to address the problem
Artist Olafur Eliasson's latest large-scale works are inspired by the paintings of JMW Turner

Magic circles: Artist Olafur Eliasson

Eliasson's works will go alongside a new exhibition of JMW Turner at Tate Britain. He tells Jay Merrick why the paintings of his hero are ripe for reinvention
Josephine Dickinson: 'A cochlear implant helped me to discover a new world of sound'

Josephine Dickinson: 'How I discovered a new world of sound'

After going deaf as a child, musician and poet Josephine Dickinson made do with a hearing aid for five decades. Then she had a cochlear implant - and everything changed
Greggs Google fail: Was the bakery's response to its logo mishap a stroke of marketing genius?

Greggs gives lesson in crisis management

After a mishap with their logo, high street staple Greggs went viral this week. But, as Simon Usborne discovers, their social media response was anything but half baked
Matthew McConaughey has been singing the praises of bumbags (shame he doesn't know how to wear one)

Matthew McConaughey sings the praises of bumbags

Shame he doesn't know how to wear one. Harriet Walker explains the dos and don'ts of fanny packs
7 best quadcopters and drones

Flying fun: 7 best quadcopters and drones

From state of the art devices with stabilised cameras to mini gadgets that can soar around the home, we take some flying objects for a spin
Joey Barton: ‘I’ve been guilty of getting a bit irate’

Joey Barton: ‘I’ve been guilty of getting a bit irate’

The midfielder returned to the Premier League after two years last weekend. The controversial character had much to discuss after his first game back
Andy Murray: I quit while I’m ahead too often

Andy Murray: I quit while I’m ahead too often

British No 1 knows his consistency as well as his fitness needs working on as he prepares for the US Open after a ‘very, very up and down’ year
Ferguson: In the heartlands of America, a descent into madness

A descent into madness in America's heartlands

David Usborne arrived in Ferguson, Missouri to be greeted by a scene more redolent of Gaza and Afghanistan
BBC’s filming of raid at Sir Cliff’s home ‘may be result of corruption’

BBC faces corruption allegation over its Sir Cliff police raid coverage

Reporter’s relationship with police under scrutiny as DG is summoned by MPs to explain extensive live broadcast of swoop on singer’s home