posted on Oct, 7 2004 @ 10:53 AM
Portsmouth chief executive Peter Storrie has denied claims the board blocked an approach by Harry Redknapp for Portuguese defender Abel Xavier.
Pompey chairman Milan Mandaric was quoted as saying the club did not need another defender, suggesting that the rift between the Serb and Redknapp
which first emerged at the end of last season had reopened.
However, Storrie rejected the story out of hand and said: "The club can't block what they have not been asked.
"Harry Redknapp has not spoken to the chairman about the possibility of signing the player."
Mandaric was reported to have said: "I can see no point in putting another defender on the wage bill when we can bring back John Curtis [on loan at
"We are paying half his wages and his loan is up next weekend. So there is no reason he cannot come straight back into the team."
Mandaric and Redknapp fell out before the final match of last season when the manager threatened to quit if his assistant Jim Smith and coach Kevin
Bond were dismissed.
Their split was healed, however. Smith and Bond are still employed by Pompey and have been joined by a new coach, former Leeds and Scotland striker
Redknapp is desperate to cover the absence of injured centre-backs Dejan Stefanovic (thigh) and Arjan de Zeeuw (knee) even though both players could
now be available for the clash with Middlesbrough at the Riverside two weeks on Sunday despite originally being ruled out for much longer.
Pompey physio Gary Sadler told the club's website: "Arjan's doing well and has done some change-of-direction running work but he's not done any
twisting, turning, sprinting or ball work. That comes next.
"Like Dejan Stefanovic he will be feeling a lot better come the Spurs game, although that one could be a bit early for the pair of them. They've both
got a chance for the trip to Middlesbrough."