The Daily Mail was reporting last night that Portsmouth had completed the signing of former Tottenham Hotspur defender Ricardo Rocha on a free transfer. Rocha is a free agent, after being released by Standard Liege at the beginning of January, and will sign a deal until the end of the season. The Portuguese made 18 appearances in all competitions for the North London club, and was eventually released in June 2009, joining Standard Liege on a free transfer. Rocha also has 6 caps for Portugal.
Despite selling Younes Kaboul to Tottenham for £5 million and Asmir Begovic to Stoke for around £3.25 million, Portsmouth have no money for new signings. The £8 million Portsmouth raised during the transfer window will instead be spent servicing debt. It is thought that £2 million is needed to pay player and staff wages, whilst the Premier League has withheld a further £2 million from Portsmouth to ensure Chelsea and Watford receive money owed to them from the transfers of Glen Johnson and Tommy Smith. The remaining £4 million will be used by Portsmouth to simply stay afloat, with Grosvenor Basingstoke Properties joining HM Revenue and Customs in petitioning for a winding-up order. Portsmouth have also failed to pay a £9 million instalment of the £28 million they reportedly owe to former owner Sacha Gaydamak.
Manager Avram Grant told Sky Sports yesterday he was disappointed that the Premier League had only lifted the transfer embargo placed on the club 3 days before the end of the deadline, giving the Israeli little time to bring in reinforcements. However, Grant is still trying to sign free agents, and should the club be successful in their pursuit of Ricardo Rocha, Serbian international Dusko Tosic could be following quickly. Reports suggest the player is waiting for a work permit, after being released from his contract by Werder Bremen. However, a deal that will not be taking place is the signing of Ravzan Cocis. The player looked set to join Pompey after his contract with Lokomotiv Moscow ended on 31st December 2009, but the Romanian international was not granted a work permit.
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