Portsmouth managerial vacancy

Grant offered Pompey job

November 25, 2009
By Harry Harris, Football Correspondent

Avram Grant has already been offered the Portsmouth manager's job, and he will make up his mind on Thursday, ESPN Soccernet understands.

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Avram Grant, Portsmouth
EmpicsAvram Grant could be in the dugout for the Premier League clash with Manchester United on Saturday.

A source at Portsmouth has been told that Grant is "thinking it over" and added that "Avram hasn't decided yet if he wants to take the job". It is thought Grant will make up his mind by Thursday afternoon.

Another source close to the Premier League club says that, if he agrees to take the job, which he is expected to do, he will be appointed Portsmouth manager before the end of Thursday. This source also confirmed to ESPN Soccernet that Paul Hart has also been asked to stay on.

The source says Grant's work permit has still to arrive, but it is thought to be just a formality, as the application - made for a 'director of football' - can be easily changed to read 'manager'.

However, Portsmouth are waiting for the work permit ahead of the Premier League clash with Manchester United on Saturday. It is clear the new owners want Grant in the dugout, where they feel he did an excellent job for Chelsea, getting them to within a goalpost's width of winning the Champions League.

The source told ESPN Soccernet: "There will be a board meeting on Thursday and I would expect an appointment to be made then or on Friday at the latest. I really cannot see any name in the frame other than Avram. I have no idea where Darren Ferguson's name came from, and I can see the bookies have made him favourite, but it is not something that has been suggested.

"The new owners brought Avram here in case results didn't go well and, the last two games, the team were back into a losing streak. It comes a point where you have got to act, otherwise you end up with the West Brom syndrome, playing well each week, losing and going down.

"However, Paul Hart did a fabulous job under difficult circumstances and no one wants to see him leave."

ESPN Soccernet understands that there is clause in Hart's contract that, under the present circumstances, he can either take a settlement or become technical director for the club's 18-to-21 age group.

The source said: "Paul has gone away to think about it, and we all really hope that he decides to stay, as this is a vital job given the new rules about trying to encourage homegrown players into the first team."