Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Record Transfer Deal for Pompey

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Record Transfer Deal for Pompey

Article excerpt

Byline: By Mark Bradley

Portsmouth broke their transfer record and Manchester United lined up their second defensive reinforcement of the month on the busiest day of the transfer window so far yesterday.

Middlesbrough were also rocked by goalkeeper Mark Schwarzer's transfer request and Arsene Wenger issued his latest denial that Thierry Henry is set to quit Arsenal.

On the day new joint club owner Alexandre Gaydamak was unveiled, Portsmouth confirmed they had splashed out pounds 4.1m to buy Zimbabwe international Benjani Mwaruwari from Auxerre ( with international clearance and the need for a work permit delaying his debut.

Harry Redknapp is set to lose the player on African Nations Cup duty, but the manager said: "I spoke to Arsene Wenger about him last week. He told me: `If you can get him, get the next plane over there and bring him back'."

Sir Alex Ferguson has confirmed United have "done a deal" to sign Monaco full-back Patrice Evra.

Red Devils chief executive David Gill concluded negotiations on Thursday night and the 24-year-old France international is due in Manchester on Monday for a medical. United have beaten off competition from Inter Milan to sign the player for an undisclosed sum, although the fee is believed to be around the pounds 5m mark.

"The deal is done, he will come in Monday," said Ferguson.

"We have been looking at him for some time since Gabriel Heinze was injured in September."

Evra could make his United debut in Wednesday's Carling Cup semi-final against Blackburn at Ewood Park.

Wenger, meanwhile, refuted reports which have claimed star striker Henry has been in regular touch with Barcelona.

"I know Thierry Henry well. He is straight and honest. He would never do that behind our back," insisted Wenger.

Fulham completed the signing of New Zealand midfielder Simon Elliott on a free transfer from Columbus Crew. …

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