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Tuesday, January 8, 2008
Subotic is one for the future, says Redknapp

Harry Redknapp may have made Portsmouth's first signing of the transfer window but he admits teenage Swiss striker Danijel Subotic is really one for the future.

Pompey will pay Basle an undisclosed compensation fee for Subotic, 18, who has signed a three-and-a-half-year contract at Fratton Park.

But Redknapp now needs to sell to raise cash for the 'three or four' established players he wants to bring in while Sulley Muntari, Kanu, John Utaka and Papa Bouba Diop are on international duty for up to a month in the African Nations Cup in Ghana.

He said: 'Danijel was recommended to us and we brought him over for a few days training. He did well and we've decided to take a gamble on him. He's one for the future and we'll have to see how he goes.

'But we still need to get some people in and it is hard. You look around and wonder who is going to loan you anybody. The only place you might get them is abroad.

'We need to strengthen out wide and up front in particular. We have just 14 outfield players here now who are capable of playing in the Premier League.

Midfielders Sean Davis (foot), Pedro Mendes (leg) and Richard Hughes (hip) are all fighting injuries ahead of Sunday's Premier League trip to Sunderland, while Linvoy Primus (knee) and Martin Cranie (broken leg) are out long term.

Redknapp said: 'Even if everybody is fit, we are low on numbers.

'We need three or four in really to help for the games the African lads will miss.'

Redknapp has spent his 30million transfer budget this season and Pompey have established a place in the top 10 of the Premier League.

But he may have to sell utility man Matt Taylor - who was left out of Saturday's 1-0 win at Ipswich to prevent him being cup-tied - in order to raise serious funds for first-class replacements.

Redknapp has revealed Tottenham are one of the clubs who have already knocked back his initial inquiries.

Redknapp said: 'I'm nowhere near getting anyone at the moment. I can't say I've got anybody lined up.

'I've tried clubs like Tottenham, who have lots of players, but they don't want to loan you players or help out like they used to.

'Maybe they see us as competition now. Two years back, Spurs let me sign Pedro Mendes, Sean Davis and Noe Pamarot but now, maybe, they see us as a side who are aiming for a UEFA Cup place just like they are.'

Young defender Marc Wilson and French midfielder Franck Songo'o have returned to Pompey from loan spells at Luton and Crystal Palace, respectively, and both played in the reserves' goalless draw against Chelsea last night when new boy Subotic made his Pompey debut.

The Switzerland Under-19 international, who did not make a senior appearance for Basle, had few chances to shine as Portsmouth's second string produced a gritty defensive display and was substituted 10 minutes from time.

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