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Page last updated at 18:43 GMT, Wednesday, 3 February 2010

Portsmouth sign defender Ricardo Rocha on free transfer

Ricardo Rocha
Defender Rocha made 14 Premier League appearances for Tottenham

Former Tottenham Hotspur defender Ricardo Rocha is back in the Premier League after joining Portsmouth until the end of the season.

The 31-year-old Portugal international signed on a free transfer after Standard Liege released him this week.

BBC Sport understands the cash-strapped Premier League strugglers could be set to add two or three more free agents to their squad as they fight for survival.

Pompey are bottom of the Premier League table and face a winding-up order.

Rocha is fully aware of Portsmouth's predicament and told his new club's website: "When you are at the bottom and trying to get up the table, it is one of the most difficult situations in football. But we have a very good team, with good players and I'm sure we can do it.

"I know from our position in the league that we are struggling a little bit now, but I know that everybody is doing their best to get out of this situation and I'm here to help the team to achieve that goal."

Portsmouth manager Avram Grant is looking for reinforcements after defender Younes Kaboul and goalkeeper Asmir Begovic were sold to Spurs and Stoke respectively this week in an attempt to keep the club afloat as owner Ali Al Faraj looks for much-needed new investment.

The south-coast outfit has been late paying wages to players and staff four times this season and the Premier League will hold on to more than £2m from player sales in January.


This is to cover money owed to Chelsea and Watford for the signings of Glen Johnson and Tommy Smith respectively.

Another creditor has also joined in with HM Revenue and Custom's winding-up petition to the High Court on 10 February, with Grosvenor Basingstoke Properties the latest to claim they are owed money by Portsmouth.

However, this is being disputed by the club, who are also hoping to persuade HMRC to reschedule the payments owed on unpaid taxes.

Rocha, who has played for Braga and Benfica in his native Portugal, made 14 Premier League appearances for Spurs between 2007 and 2009.

He moved to Belgium last summer after falling out of favour at White Hart Lane but will now be looking to help Grant lift Pompey out of the mire.

The Portuguese defender added: "It's very good for me to be back. It will be good to be able to show everybody what I can do, and I want to prove it to myself and to the people of Portsmouth. But the most important thing is to help get Portsmouth away from the bottom."

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see also
Fulham 1-0 Portsmouth
03 Feb 10 |  Premier League
Portsmouth give wages assurance
02 Feb 10 |  Portsmouth
Defender Kaboul rejoins Tottenham
30 Jan 10 |  Tottenham
Stoke sign Pompey keeper Begovic
01 Feb 10 |  Stoke

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