TRANSFER TALK

Tottenham leading the chase to land Kaboul?

January 20, 2010
By Harry Harris, Football Correspondent

Younes Kaboul could be on his way out of Portsmouth with three Premier League clubs hot on the defender's trail.

Younes Kaboul, Portsmouth
GettyImagesKaboul: Heading for a return to the Lane?

One of the clubs are Tottenham Hotspur, who sold Kaboul to Pompey. Spurs are still owed £2 million on Kaboul and also have a substantial cut of any sell on fee, so it would be one of the most unusual deals of all-time if Portsmouth sold him back to the Lane.

Spurs would, in effect, get a cut of their own fee for Kaboul!

A Pompey insider told Soccernet: "Yes, we are working on a deal with Spurs, but yes it is pretty complex. Spurs look favourite to sign Kaboul but five clubs have shown interest, three from the Premier League, Spurs, Manchester City and Sunderland."

Pompey are fighting on all fronts: an appeal against their application to have an Inland Revenue winding-up order struck out, a battle with the Premier League over £2 million TV money being withheld and a transfer embargo they decline to lift, and it all adds up to the PFA's concerns about whether the players will be paid on time for a change this month.

Much will depend on whether the club can ease their cash flow crisis with the sale of Kaboul, whom they value at £14 million but may have to sell at around £10 million to avoid financial meltdown.

If they sell him back to Spurs the club would only see a fraction of that asking price but at least it would allieviate immediate debts and help convince the Premier league to lift the transfer embargo.

Manchester City and Sunderland have expressed an interest, with Steve Bruce ready to swap Anton Ferdinand as part of a deal, which has been rejected, while Pompey has turned down €10 million from the player's former club Lyon, and Lille have also entered the bidding war.

A deal with Spurs might prove to be the more logical route as Pompey owe the North London club transfer installments on Kaboul, so there could be a straight cash adjustment which would appeal to both clubs.

Redknapp has made centre half a priority with club captain Ledley King's permanent knee injury and Jonathan Woodgate spending a month with a specialist in the United States to cure his long-term groin problem.

Redknapp has sounded out his an interest in Palermo's Simon Kjaer, a Danish international who has an £11 million buy-out clause in his contact, but Kaboul might be the easier option.

Michael Dawson and Sébastien Bassong are the club's only senior centre backs. Midfielder Tom Huddlestone, who can play as an emergency centre half, is now injured.

Pompey have also confirmed that they have received a writ from their former centre half Sol Campbell claiming £1.7 million owed to him in image rights and wages. But a Pompey insider said: "We shall be vigorously defending this action."