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Last Updated: Friday, 2 December 2005, 16:09 GMT
Redknapp waiting on Pompey's move
By Phil McNulty
Chief football writer

Harry Redknapp
Harry Redknapp insists he is focusing on Southampton's game with Burnley as Portsmouth weigh up their next move in a bid to take him back to Fratton Park.

Southampton refused Pompey permission to hold talks with their former boss.

And Redknapp told BBC Sport: "I've no idea what's going on at the moment. They want to speak to me and so far Southampton have refused permission.

"I was a bit surprised by the approach, but until I hear anything different I'm just concentrating on our next game."

BBC Sport understands Redknapp spoke with Saints' chairman Rupert Lowe on Friday morning.

And even though Pompey's shock move to re-appoint their former boss has so far been blocked, there may be further developments later on Friday.

He did a tremendous job for us and that's the main reason we'd like him to come back
Milan Mandaric on Harry Redknapp

It is reported the clubs are still in talks over compensation, with Saints demanding 220,000 for their manager and Portsmouth offering only 100,000.

Rangers' Alex McLeish, Northern Ireland boss Lawrie Sanchez and ex-Republic of Ireland boss Brian Kerr will be in the frame if Pompey fail to land Redknapp.

Sir Bobby Robson and David Pleat are also under consideration.

Pompey chairman Milan Mandaric asked to speak to Redknapp on Thursday, and despite widespread speculation, the Saints boss arrived for training at 0900 GMT on Friday ahead of the Burnley game.

Mandaric is studying other options while he awaits a final response from Southampton.

He said: "If Southampton don't let us talk to Harry then we can't talk to him. We are looking at other people with capabilities who can help us stay in the Premiership.

"I can't encourage Harry to do anything because I'm not allowed to talk to him. I don't think we fell out. Harry's an emotional guy and so am I, but he is a great manager and a great person and I'm sure lots of fans would welcome him back.

"My objective is to bring in a manager early next week, or certainly before the Spurs game. We have candidates and we hope the selection will be done early next week."

The Irish Football Association's chief executive Howard Wells told the BBC that Portsmouth had not contacted either Sanchez or the IFA regarding the vacancy.

Sanchez built his managerial reputation at Wycombe, taking the club to the FA Cup semi-final in 2001, and has turned around Northern Ireland's fortunes around recently, overseeing the recent 1-0 win over England.

Kerr, meanwhile, has not worked since October when the Football Association of Ireland choose not to renew his contract.

Redknapp left Portsmouth in November 2004, insisting he wanted to take a break from the game, but two weeks later he took over at Southampton.

McLeish also remains high on Mandaric's wanted list, despite Rangers rejecting his initial approach.

Warnock decides to stay at Blades
01 Dec 05 |  Sheff Utd
Gers turn down move for McLeish
29 Nov 05 |  Rangers


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