Redknapp agrees three-year Pompey deal

May 26, 2006

Portsmouth completed their first major coup of the summer by tying down Harry Redknapp to a long-term deal - and now the business of squad-building can begin.

GettyImages / RossKinnairdHarry 'Houdini' Redknapp and the Pompey squad celebrate their great escape.

Survival in the Premiership was ensured against the odds, on the back of six wins in 10 games at the end of the season.

And Redknapp is expected to proceed with an overhauling of the Pompey playing staff, which could see several players arrive at Fratton Park before the 2006-07 campaign begins.

Stability at the club has been ensured by Redknapp putting pen to paper yesterday on a contract which was informally agreed just two days after the end of the season.

And chief executive Peter Storrie told the club's official website that the club are set to press ahead with more business after securing the future of their manager, who will be 62 at the end of his new deal.

'It is nice to get this matter sorted with Harry and now we can concentrate on moving the club forward and upwards to where it belongs,' said Storrie.

'The ending of last season was just the beginning as far as everyone connected with the club is concerned and Harry is the man who will now take us on from here.'

Redknapp has already made it clear he does not want to endure another season of nerve-shredding struggle to survive at the top level but yearns instead to have the fire-power to challenge for honours.

That could mean more strikers arriving, and Portsmouth setting a new club record in the transfer market.

Property developer Alexandre Gaydamak's arrival as co-owner in January was followed by nine new signings, including £4.4million record buy Benjani Mwaruwari from French side Auxerre.

But they may have to go beyond that to land Serbia and Montenegro striker Nikola Zigic, rated at £7million by Red Star Belgrade.

Redknapp will travel to Belgrade on Saturday to watch Zigic in action for his country against Uruguay in a World Cup warm-up match.

The former Southampton and West Ham boss has also undertaken recent scouting missions to France, Italy and Portugal.