Lucrative deal traps 'Little Rabbit' for Portsmouth

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The Independent Football

Portsmouth are optimistic that they have sealed a six-month loan deal for the Real Madrid striker Javier Saviola. It is hoped that the 27-year-old, who has grown frustrated at his lack of opportunities at Real, will attend tonight's Premier League home game with Aston Villa.

Portsmouth, who yesterday completed the £3m signing of Hayden Mullins and another loan deal, acquiring the attacking midfielder Pele from Porto, have been desperate to add a star signing as they try to revitalise their season.

Saviola, nicknamed "Little Rabbit", interested a host of Premier League clubs, including Everton, but relegation-threatened Portsmouth offered him the most lucrative deal. The Argentine will become Portsmouth's fourth signing this January – Jermaine Pennant has also arrived on a short-term deal – with Adams hoping to add another midfielder.

Meanwhile, Sunderland are in talks to sign Calum Davenport from West Ham United but are yet to make a bid for the 26-year-old central defender, whose £3m move to Bolton Wanderers collapsed earlier this month.

West Ham, who sold Craig Bellamy to Manchester City for £14m, have started the process of spending funds from that deal yesterday by signing Savio Nsereko from the Italian club Brescia for a fee that could rise to £10m. Savio is a Ugandan-born, German Under-19 international.

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