Portsmouth are attempting to persuade Juventus midfielder Christian Poulsen to join them on loan for the rest of the season with a view to a £5m permanent transfer. The Denmark international has been told he can leave but is understood to not be keen on a move to Fratton Park.
Portsmouth's chairman Peter Storrie was in Turin on Monday to try and agree a deal for the 28-year-old who was signed from Seville last year for £9m but who has, partly through injury, struggled to make an impact.
Yesterday Poulsen told the Danish newspaper Ekstra Bladet that he wanted to concentrate on trying to get back into the Juventus team. "I am completely focused on getting enough playing time here," he said. His agent, Joern Bonnesen, was more direct: "Christian has no intention of leaving Turin."
Nevertheless, Poulsen, who has 60 international caps, has been identified as a replacement for Lassana Diarra who was sold to Real Madrid at the start of the transfer window for €20m (£18.5m). Portsmouth are struggling for midfield reinforcements having had a £4.5m bid rejected for Middlesbrough's Gary O'Neil, who wants to return to the South coast having failed to settle in the North-east.
However, Portsmouth have succeeded in signing winger Jermaine Pennant on loan from Liverpool until the end of the season. The club had tried to negotiate a permanent deal but Pennant, who is out of contract in the summer, wants to keep his options open for when he becomes a free agent.
"It was only ever going to be a loan or a short-term deal," Storrie said. "He is a free agent at the end of the season and he doesn't want to give up those rights. Whether it's a contract until the end of June or a loan, it's a bit irrelevant."
Storrie said that a possible move for Patrick Vieira, which had been played down by manager Tony Adams despite the fact that he had made an inquiry, ended because the Internazionale midfielder is injured while, as with O'Neil, a move for another former Arsenal midfielder, Edu, who is now at Valencia, failed because a deal could not be agreed.
"Patrick is someone we would be very keen to bring here," Storrie said. "Obviously he is very well-known to Tony but my understanding is he has got an injury and that won't be possible in this window."