Pompey sign playmaker D'Alessandro on loan

January 31, 2006

LONDON, Jan 31 (Reuters) - Portsmouth signed Argentine midfielder Andres D'Alessandro from VfL Wolfsburg on loan until the end of the season on Tuesday with a view to a permanent move.

The 24-year-old is the latest in a string of signings made by the Premier League club this month and manager Harry Redknapp told Portsmouth's website: 'The boy is a really influential playmaker and you can't have too many of those.

'This is a massive signing at the club for sure. I am delighted with the way things are working out because we have got together some players who can have a huge influence on matches and this lad is one of them.'

D'Alessandro moved to the Bundesliga from River Plate for $11 million in July 2003. He won an Olympic gold medal with Argentina in Athens in 2004.

His form for Wolfsburg has been consistently good but reports from Germany suggested he was eager for a change and new coach Klaus Augenthaler left him out of the squad for Saturday's 3-2 defeat by Borussia Dortmund.

'I'm sure this agreement is a fair solution for the clubs involved and for the player,' Wolfsburg manager Klaus Allofs said in a statement.

Portsmouth have already signed strikers Emmanuel Olisadebe and Benjani Mwaruwari, midfielders Pedro Mendes, Sean Davis and Wayne Routledge, defender Noe Pamarot and goalkeeper Dean Kiely in the January transfer window.

Earlier this month the English club, who are second from bottom of the table, secured a new injection of funds after Russian businessman Alexandre Gaydamak became their new co-owner alongside Milan Mandaric.