Pompey trial Latvian
By Peter ORourke
Last Updated: 01/01/70 1:00am
Fratton Park boss Harry Redknapp is keen to strengthen his depleted squad during the January transfer window and has made a new striker his top target.
Injuries to Svetoslav Todorov, Jason Roberts and Vincent Pericard has left Redknapp short of options in attack and he is casting an eye over Verpakovskis.
The Skonto Riga hit-man has been training with Pompey this week so that Redknapp can put him through his paces before deciding whether or not to pursue his interest.
The 25-year-old, who scored two of Latvia's goals in their 3-2 aggregate victory over Turkey in the Euro 2004 play-offs earlier this month, has attracted the interest of Arsenal and Wolves and it seems certain that he will leave Skonto Riga.
Redknapp is now considering whether to take the Latvian on, after he was recommended to him by Gary Johnson - the Yeovil coach, who is brokering the deal on behalf of Skonto and the player.
"He is having a look around Portsmouth now and it gives Harry a chance to have a look at him,Ç¥ Johnson told skysports.com.
"Harry asked me if he could have a look at him and I pointed Maris in that direction and he was happy to go.Ç¥
Despite Pompey having Verpakovskis on trial, there are still a number of clubs looking at a potential deal when the transfer window opens in January.
"There are three or four clubs who would like to meet with him,Ç¥ Johnson added.
"The really important thing for Maris is that he needs to feel comfortable and happy at the club.
"Maris will cost money in, that is for sure, but in Premiership terms he would represent a very good buy - but many clubs don't have any money and that rules them out already.
"A few clubs want to try and take him on loan, but Skonto do not want that - they want Maris to become settled and he wants to have something in place before the European Championships.Ç¥