Pompey to end star sales
Peter Storrie has issued a hands-off warning to any potential suitors of Portsmouth's top stars.
By Elliot Ball
Last Updated: 07/08/09 3:07pm
Portsmouth chief executive Peter Storrie has issued a hands-off warning to any potential suitors of Sylvain Distin, Niko Kranjcar and David James.
Distin, Kranjcar and James represent the last of the big names at Fratton Park following an extraordinary exodus of personnel in the past 12 months.
The likes of Lassana Diarra, Jermain Defoe, Glen Johnson and Peter Crouch have all set sail for pastures new leaving a depleted Pompey team - a far cry from the outfit which won the FA Cup in 2008.
As the delayed takeover saga by Middle-Eastern billionaire Sulaiman Al Fahim rumbles on, it was believed more stars would be offloaded to balance the books.
But Storrie insists the South Coast side are not planning any more sales and has told the likes of Aston Villa, Liverpool and Manchester City that there is no point in continuing their pursuit of defender Distin.
"I want to avoid selling," Storrie told The News. "If my hands are forced with certain things not happening it's a different situation - but we're not there yet.
"The ones that are going to go now are purely to do with tactical reasons.
"We want David, Sylvain and Niko to stay."
Of the future of Distin, Storrie added: "It's no secret we've had an offer for Sylvain, but we flatly turned it down.
"We still continuously get enquiries - but we are just not interested in selling him.
"We want him to stay with us for the next two or three years and have had interim discussions with his agent on a new contract, so it's in his hands really.
"Niko has always made it clear he wants to stay and see out his current deal, but doesn't want to sign a new contract.
"As for David, he's already come out and said he will stay."
Storrie, meanwhile, maintains Pompey are still tracking a number of transfer targets to bolster the squad and he is confident of having at least one addition in next week.
"We are working on a couple more, another one in a similar type of deal to Frederic Piquionne. We are hopeful on that," said the Pompey chief, whose side have been recently linked with moves for free agent Mark Viduka and Celtic defender Lee Naylor.
"I think we want another three - probably four in an ideal world - before the transfer window closes.
"When you look at it there would be seven new signings in total."