Niko and Diarra going nowhere/Utaka on homecoming
They may be attracting a lot of interest, with the suggestion being that this summer will see the departures of two of our most prized assets in Lassana Diarra and Niko Kranjcar but the only place they will be going this summer is Euro 2008!
Peter Storrie has told The News that the pair do not need to be sold, and nor will they be sold this summer: 'I'm sure during the summer there will be all sorts of crazy stories about this offer and that offer.
'But Niko and Lassana are going absolutely nowhere, we've no need to let players go.
'The reality is the amount of offers you actually get are very, very minimal - but the press like to write you've had this bid, you've had that bid.
'The other day we were supposedly after Zarate but no-one has a clue what that's about. Who is it that's had these talks? It's none of us.
'That's going to happen all the time I'm afraid, so we just ignore them because there's no point reacting to them.
'We don't have to sell any of our players.
'I am sure one or two will want to move because they are not playing regularly, but we will deal with those as and when they come around.
'But we're not looking to sell anybody.'
He also rubbished 'rumours' that Sol Campbell will be heading off to Spain this summer.
In order to carry on our improvement we must keep our best players and build on this, chopping and changing will not allow us to get a settled side capable of 'taking that next level' will it.
That said if an offer 'too good to refuse' is received it would be interesting to see if they remain unavailable even if they do not need to be sold, and depending on who 'might' come knocking the players themselves might have other ideas...
Planning 'not to sale' is a good starting point, we do not want to be a selling club anymore and with a sound footing and the steps forward we are taking I do not think that we are any longer. Clearly there are teams that players will always leave us for, and offers that will be 'too good to refuse' but lets see what the summer months bring - if we can keep the nucleus of the squad intact, as well as adding further quality to it then we are potentially in for another mouth watering season in 2008/09!
Also, another snippet from The News sees John Utaka talking again.
As well as his promise 'to do better' next season he also spoke about the tour Pompey will be making of Nigeria this summer, something that he cannot wait for: 'most of the players haven't been to Nigeria - it's a beautiful place.
'The fans as well will enjoy it, it's worth going. It's an opportunity to discover this great place and it would be a good thing for everyone.
'To come from here down to Africa is big for us, so I think it will be nice.
'There are many, many things to like about Nigeria. The food is great, especially the plantain. There's some nice stuff there to eat.
'The fans and players will see when they come. They will experience it and appreciate what my country has to offer.
'There will be much joy among the Nigerian people and I am sure we will enjoy the pre-season and the training out there.'
This will be a truly remarkable tour I am sure, and one that will live long in the memories of many players and fans fortunate enough to be able to get out to Africa this summer. Any that are please do share your memories with us.
Plans for the tour, which will last for 4 days and involve 2 games - one again Manyoo - are still be finalised but the date it will begin is believed to be July 23rd/24th. We will then move onto South Africa for a training camp.
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