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Last Updated: Monday, 18 December 2006, 17:46 GMT
Pompey put off by Fernandes fee
Manuel Fernandes
Fernandes is a highly-rated prospect in Portugal
Portsmouth boss Harry Redknapp will return Manuel Fernandes to Benfica as his 12m asking price is too much.

Fernandes, 20, was signed on a season-long loan in the summer but will now return to Portugal in January.

"The fee is 12m and I don't want to pay 12m," said Redknapp. "I've spoken to Manuel about it and even he thinks the price is too high."

Fernandes did not play at Arsenal as a permanent deal would be triggered if he plays three Premiership games in a row.

Redknapp added: "All I know is if he starts three Premier League games in a row, a permanent deal clicks in. I didn't do the deal. It wasn't my idea. I inherited it."

Redknapp also defended the club's owner Alexandre Gaydamak over criticism he has not invested more money in the Fratton Park squad.

"Sacha is a terrific young fellow and he's given me terrific support," said Redknapp.

"We have a good relationship and he has never interfered. I think that if I went to him to get a couple of players (in January) he will be there. The owner will back me. That is not a problem.

"He didn't tell me not to play Fernandes at Arsenal. The player was ill anyway, but I wouldn't have played him on Saturday.

"He's a good player and for the right fee I would buy him. He's a young kid with potential, but I couldn't put my name to 12m for him."

Portsmouth want to keep Fernandes
03 Oct 06 |  Portsmouth
Arsenal 2-2 Portsmouth
16 Dec 06 |  Premiership
Pompey keen to keep striker Kanu
15 Dec 06 |  Portsmouth


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