Thursday, January 26, 2006
Mandaric 'won't give up' on Hartson
Portsmouth chairman Milan Mandaric is refusing to give up on signing striker
John Hartson from Celtic.
The Hoops have warned the south-coast club no bids will be welcomed for the
But the Fratton Park chief told BBC Scotland: 'We are trying to go back to
them with a deal. I think it's only fair they know we won't give up.'
The former Arsenal and West Ham striker has already insisted he does not wish
to leave Celtic Park.
But, with Pompey desperate to escape the relegation trapdoor from the English
top flight, Hartson is a target before the transfer window closes next Tuesday.
Portsmouth boss Harry Redknapp has previously signed the Wales international
during his time as manager at Upton Park.
The ex-Southampton boss raised eyebrows when he shelled out £3.3million to
take Hartson to Upton Park in December 1997.
The forward rewarded Redknapp's faith by scoring 32 goals in less than two
years at the east-London club.
Hartson joined Celtic in August 2001 under ex-manager Martin O'Neill and has
gone on to become a major part of the success enjoyed at the club.
Meanwhile, Neil Lennon's agent insists the Celtic captain is going nowhere,
despite emerging as a potential successor to Craig Levein at Leicester.
Former Hearts boss Levein was sacked by the Foxes on Wednesday after a poor
run of results left the club in the Coca-Cola Championship relegation zone.
Lennon is still a cult hero at the east-midlands club where he spent almost
five years before moving to Glasgow in November 2000.
The midfielder joined Leicester from Crewe in February 1996 for £750,000 and
helped them to promotion to the Premiership after a play-off final win over
Crystal Palace three months later.
The former Northern Ireland international also won the League Cup twice and
played in the UEFA Cup under then City boss, O'Neill.
But Lennon's agent, Martin Reilly, insists the player is focused purely on
another Bank of Scotland Premier League title.
Reilly told BBC Sport: 'Neil has a special place in his heart for Leicester
and he has never hidden his desire to move into management.
'But, for now, he is concentrating on winning the league with Celtic.'