Portsmouth news

Hart hopeful of doing business

August 3, 2009

Portsmouth manager Paul Hart hopes to make progress in the transfer market this week.

Brian Kidd, Paul Hart
GettyImages / JoePeplerHart still hoping to add to his squad.

Pompey returned from a brief tour of Portugal on the back of two defeats by Vitoria Guimaraes and then Benfica.

Although the protracted takeover by Sulaiman Al Fahim is now well on the way to a successful completion, so far Hart - installed as permanent boss following a successful battle against relegation while caretaker at the end of last season - has seen more players leave than arrive.

Striker Peter Crouch has followed fellow England international Glen Johnson out of Fratton Park, while midfielder Sean Davis joined Bolton on a free and captain Sol Campbell's contract was allowed to expire.

Former Liverpool full-back Steve Finnan has come in, along with one-time Blackburn midfielder Aaron Mokoena.

Portsmouth are looking to agree terms over a season-long loan deal for Amr Zaki from Egyptian club El Zamalek and have been linked with a swoop for Australian striker Mark Viduka, released by relegated Newcastle, as well as a move for Celtic left-back Lee Naylor.

Hart wants any deals done as soon as possible - with the kick off to the new Premier League campaign fast approaching.

"We have got targets and we are trying to close those down,'' Hart told the Portsmouth News.

"I have been working (on transfers) while in Portugal, but it is much easier when you're actually in England and I am hoping one or two things may happen this week.

Hart added: "We have got a lot of targets and we are looking at a lot of players and trying to whittle them down to get them in.

"We have not got many strikers.

"We are looking at other players, but obviously strikers are important.''

Pompey face Scottish champions Rangers at Fratton Park on Saturday.

Hart believes, in the circumstances, there can be some positives taken from the pre-season build-up.

"We have spent a lot of time in England this year, whereas we have been abroad for the past two summers all over the world,'' he said.

"You can question the fitness that we get from that so we have tried to stay local, stay around and get more core stability and hopefully we will benefit from that.

"We have also got our fitness work in, Benfica were put under severe pressure all over the pitch so we hope we benefited from that.''