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 Wednesday, 11 December, 2002, 16:33 GMT
Pompey snap up Burton
Deon Burton in action for Derby
Burton returns to Pompey for a third spell with the club

Division One leaders Portsmouth are set to strengthen their Premiership push by signing Derby striker Deon Burton.

Pompey boss Harry Redknapp has agreed a fee for the 26-year-old which could reach 250,000, depending on appearances and Pompey's survival, should they reach the Premiership.

Burton will return for a third time to Fratton Park, where he began his career.

The Jamaican international joined Derby from Pompey in August 1997 for 1m, and returned to Fratton Park earlier this season on loan.

Burton's transfer also sees him join up with Portsmouth assistant manager Jim Smith for the tird time.

Smith signed Burton during his spell as Rams' manager.

Burton's signing solves Redknapp's search for striking power.

Redknapp was frustrated in his attempts to sign Tottenham veteran Les Ferdinand.

Burton will compete for a place with Svetoslav Todorov and former Celtic striker Mark Burchill.

Pompey also have Lee Bradbury and Juventus loanee Vincent Pericard returning from injury.

While few other clubs have been able to boost their squads, Redknapp has had the benefit of chairman Milan Mandaric's millions to fund Pompey's promotion drive.

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