Portsmouth chairman Milan Mandaric is confident he will have signed Celtic midfielder Stilian Petrov by the weekend.

“We are in close contact with Celtic and are talking to them about Petrov,” he told the Scottish Daily Mail.

“I am very hopeful that we can conclude those talks over the next few days and he will come to Portsmouth. Perhaps even by the weekend.

“He’s the guy that our manager Harry Redknapp really wants and I think we are getting closer now on the fee.”

The 27-year-old Bulgarian international had a transfer request turned down by Celtic at the end of last season, but that has not deterred Portsmouth from trying to sign him.

“He is a good player and I totally understand Celtic’s position on this,” Mandric added.

“I respect their demands and their desires and I would be doing the same if I was them.

“But I am an optimist on these matters and we feel we will land Petrov.”