Chelsea end Pompey's Smertin hopes
By Graeme Bailey
Last Updated: 01/01/70 1:00am
Smertin spent last season on loan at Fratton Park, but he stated last month that he was heading back to Stamford Bridge.
Pompey still had lingering hopes that they could persuade Chelsea to let him return, but that possibility has now been quashed.
"He's coming back as part of the squad," said Blues chief executive Peter Kenyon.
"He'll be vying for a place like everyone else. He had a good season, going into the Premier League at Portsmouth, and we're delighted to have him back."
The South Coast outfit could now press ahead with a move for Greek midfield star Angelos Basinas.
Chairman Milan Mandaric is reported to be heading to Athens on Wednesday to try and secure at least one signature, as Pompey are also said to be interested in former Burnley striker Dimitrios Papadopoulos.
However, Mandaric has stated that there is a lot of interest in the Panathinaikos striker, who was with his club colleague Basinas at Euro 2004.
"We face a lot of opposition for him," said Mandaric.
Pompey are also looking to tie up a deal for Preston's Ricardo Fuller in the next few days.
"Ricardo is a good talent, he's a threat. He is big and strong and causes defences problems," said Pompey boss Harry Redknapp.
"I've liked him for a long time and was after him before he went to Preston from Hearts."