Football

Pompey poised to seal Smith switch

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Portsmouth manager Paul Hart is expected to make Watford forward Tommy Smith his first signing after Sulaiman Al Fahim announced his takeover of the club was completed.

It had seemed a consortium led by Pompey chief executive Peter Storrie was set to broker a deal for the troubled south-coast club following the apparent breakdown of the Middle East businessman's bid.

However, Al Fahim - appointed chairman at Fratton Park after passing the Premier League's fit and proper person test - claims he has now formally taken full control, meaning Hart will be able to strengthen his squad ahead of the September 1 deadline.

Although there will not be limitless funds, Pompey are expected to move quickly.

Smith, 29, had been in line to join Reading, but is now set to head to Fratton Park in a £2million deal, while Lens' £4-million rated Ivory Coast striker Aruna Dindane is another likely target.

Pompey, though, could face a battle to keep hold of captain Sylvain Distin, who has told Hart he wants to leave Fratton Park - with Aston Villa and Everton potential destinations.

Al Fahim is expected to give more details of his intentions for taking Portsmouth forward at a press conference later this week ahead of the home game against Manchester City.

A statement on Wednesday confirmed a deal with Sacha Gaydamak had been finalised.

"Devondale Investments, the current owner of Portsmouth FC, and Al Fahim Asia Associates Ltd (AAA), a company fully owned by Sulaiman Al Fahim, chairman of the board of Portsmouth FC, have reached an agreement whereby AAA has become the new sole owner of the club," the statement read. "Sulaiman Al Fahim welcomed this agreement and looks forward to helping the club build on its impressive history and achieve new successes in the Premier League.

"The chairman of the club would like to extend his gratitude to the players, staff and the supporters of Portsmouth FC who have shown an extraordinary level of commitment and loyalty to this great club."

Copyright (c) PA Sport 2009, All Rights Reserved.

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Topics:
Portsmouth
Reading
Watford
Football
Manchester City
Premier League
Tommy Smith
Everton
Aston Villa
Tommy Smith
Sylvain Distin
Liverpool

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