Redknapp: Green belongs to Norwich

CHRIS WISE Harry Redknapp has moved to distance himself from speculation linking him with a move for Norwich City keeper Robert Green.


Harry Redknapp has moved to distance himself from speculation linking him with a move for Norwich City keeper Robert Green.

The Portsmouth manager received what amounted to a 'come and get me plea' last night when the player's agent Andy Evans said his client would be happy to open talks with the club if a mutually agreeable fee could be agreed.

But Redknapp gave a strong hint today that he was more happy with his current No 1, the fit-again Jamie Ashdown - and had no plans to replace him with Green during the January transfer window.

“I am not going down that road,” said the Pompey boss when quizzed about Evans' comments on Sky Sports. “Robert Green belongs to Norwich City and I haven't spoken to Nigel Worthington about him.

“If I was interested then I would have contacted Nigel. Green is a good keeper but nothing is happening there.”

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A new goalkeeper was thought to be high on Redknapp's wanted list at the beginning of the month, with first choice Ashdown struggling with a back-injury. But the former Reading stopper has made a quicker than expected recovery and should be fit for Saturday's Premiership clash with Everton at Fratton Park - so there is no longer an urgent need for reinforcements.

Redknapp turned his attention to his outfield resources today when he snapped up Spurs trio Noe Paramot, Pedro Mendes and Sean Davies for a combined total of £7m, having earlier splashed out £4.4m for Auxerre's Zimbabwean striker Benjani Mwaruwari. But he still has money to spend after a huge injection of cash from new Russian co-owner Alexandre Gaydamak and it wouldn't exactly come as a massive surprise if his latest comments on Green proved to be little more than a smokescreen ahead of a cheeky, cut-price bid later in the month.

Redknapp certainly seemed happy to keep the door ajar as he concluded: “We'll just have to see what next week brings.”

Meanwhile his opposite number at Carrow Road confirmed there had been no contact between the two clubs over the 25-year-old England goalkeeper. He went on to reveal that he had talked to Green and his agent about the situation - but refused to divulge what had been said.

“I believe Portsmouth have been mentioned, but yet again we have heard nothing from the football club,” he said. “Obviously the agent is trying to do his job for his player.

“He has spoken to me on the situation and I have also spoken to Robert himself - but what was said will stay between the two of us. That is the fairest thing to say at this moment in time.”

Asked if he thought Green was likely to move on he added: “That's like me asking you the same question. It's a $3m question.

“All I can say is that he is our player - and when you are under contract then you have got to go out and produce for yourself, your football club and for the supporters. I haven't got a problem with any of my players on that side. They are getting paid by Norwich City - and their duty is to go and perform for the team.”

Worthington was also playing a straight bat on press inquires over the future of Dean Ashton and had nothing to say on reports that West Ham had made a £5m bid for the striker.

“At the moment there are no offers on the table for any players that excites Norwich City,” he said.

“If we do get an offer that interests us then that will be something that the chief executive will deal with, even though I work closely with him. I think it's better to have one voice talking than two, which might complicate the situation. But I can say that there is nothing to report at the moment.

“It's the unsettling time of the season with all this rumour and speculation - but the situation is there and you have got to deal with it.”