Date:Thursday June 12 2008
After 6 years in the international wilderness Lauren has admitted that he plans to end his international exile with the Cameroon.
The Pompey defender has not played for his country since the 2002 world cup - and has repeatedly rejected the chance to return, but he now seems willing to return to the fold after a change in their set-up in order to try and help them qualify for and then take part in the 2010 world cup in South Africa, telling Cameroon paper Mutations: 'there is a hope for me, because to play a World Cup for an African team in Africa is unbelievable and fantastic.
'But to reach the World Cup I need to play the qualifying games.
'I will see the manager as soon as possible, we have an appointment to meet, and we will talk.
'I left the national team because of personal reasons and also our organisation around the national team was not very professional.
'I spoke with Geremi, he tried to convince me to return early on, but I decided not to because things did not improve. He was not happy. However, he keeps telling me the team need me.'
Good luck to him I say, to be honest though I cannot see Lauren being with Pompey for that much longer let alone in 2010, which would of course bring the African nations again - so if he does come out of international retirement I cannot see us faced with that problem next time it comes about...
Harry Redknapp has long since been a fan of Eidur Gudjohnsen, so 'reports' of an increasing interest in the Barcelona man are not a surprise to me - and dare I say anyone else?
It looks like he will be leaving Barcelona this summer, and at a 'reported' £4m would be a snip... the only problem would be his wages, believed to be around the £100,000 per week bracket!
Peter Crouch remains Redknapp's main priority as far as a striker goes, but we still seem put off by the reduced £10m valuation, so as he told The News if he cannot get him he would be interested in possibly going after Gudjohnsen: 'we are looking, but it is not always easy to get in the people we are looking for.
'But we are moving along and something could happen soon. Crouchy is a brilliant lad and I do like him a great deal. I suppose if Peter Storrie was negotiating with Liverpool though, he wouldn't want me throwing figures around.
'We might feel Liverpool want a little too much for him even at £10m. We might want to pay a bit less, so it wouldn't be right for me to say a price.
'At the end of the day he still belongs to Liverpool.
'I doubt if they would want me talking about their players really. I've always said I like Peter, though.
'There might be a deal there. If there's not then we will move on.
'Eidur is a good player, a proper player. It does look like he is leaving Barcelona.
'If that's the case he'd definitely be the type of player we'd be interested in.
'He's someone I know and he's good friends with Jamie. He's a good lad and a top player.'
It looks like Redknapp is trying to squeeze the price down a little more on what Liverpool want for Crouch here.
Gudjohnsen would be a good option, but we will not be paying a player £100,000 per week in wages - this is not possible and once we go down that road we are asking for trouble...
One striker that Redknapp is however talking down the chances of coming to Fratton is Djibril Cisse: 'he is a good player and we have looked at him before. But he's not one that I'm concentrating on at the moment.'
I have been saying that Crouch will return all summer - I cannot change my mind now can I, so I wont...
And finally, having been a near certainty to sign in my mind a few months back it looks as though John Mensah could well be off to Wigan now? Well that is what 'reports' are telling us anyway.
These are suggesting that Wigan are now the favourites to sign the Ghanaian from Rennes and have moved ahead of us, Blackburn, Bolton, West Ham and Celtic in 'the race' to sign him...
At a fee of £5m back along he would have been a quality signing, with the fee said to be more around £7m now it is little wonder that Richard Dunne and Younes Kaboul have 'crept' ahead of him, if indeed they have?
I still like the thought of Dunne myself but we do not know the score here just yet, although Kaboul for around £3m is growing on me all the time. For me Mensah at £7m would be a thanks but no thanks...
PLAY UP POMPEY!
Date:Thursday June 12 2008
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