Newcastle's Redknapp talks sparked Portsmouth sale scare

Portsmouth boss Harry Redknapp's on-off move to Newcastle United has been linked to Sacha Gaydamak's proposed sale of the south coast club.

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The Times says the possibility of Redknapp moving to Newcastle may have prompted the decision of Gaydamak, the owner of Portsmouth, to look for buyers.

The club were almost relegated in the 2005-06 season after Redknapp left in the wake of a falling-out with Milan Mandaric and Gaydamak's investment of upwards of £30 million would be in serious jeopardy in the event of Portsmouth, who have few assets beyond their players, dropping out of the Premier League.

Portsmouth claimed yesterday that Gaydamak and his board "remain totally committed to the future of the club" and are "excited by the club's plans for a new 36,000 state-of-the-art stadium at Horsea Island". However, plans have yet to be submitted to the local authority and The Times reports that obtaining planning consent would be fraught with difficulties over road access.

Sol Campbell, the club captain, was reprimanded last month for questioning Gaydamak's commitment and revealed that the owner was seldom seen. Campbell said. "We need to see where he wants to go. Maybe a new chairman's coming in, I don't know." That new chairman could be from North America, where Gaydamak is understood to have made inquiries.

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