Portsmouth have failed in a bid to sign West Ham midfielder Michael Carrick.
The bid of £2.5m was rejected this afternoon, but West Ham have left room for negotiation.
Carrick, the last remaining player from the Harry Redknapp era of Lampard, Ferdinand et al could eventually cost the South Coast club in excess of £3m, and smash their transfer record in the process.
It is known that Hammers manager Alan Pardew is prepared to let Carrick leave if he doesn’t sign a new contract, and is trying to complete the building of his own new squad, capable of challenging for the Coca Cola Championship title.
Portsmouth chairman Milan Mandaric said: “We have put in a club record bid for Michael Carrick. He is a highly rated player and we are not afraid to break our transfer record for such talent.
“We would regard this as an investment. The bid is not an issue and it should leave nobody in any doubt about what direction this club is continuing to take.”
Portsmouth are desperate to strengthen their squad, with Harry Redknapp recently admitting that failure to do this would probably result in the club’s relegation. He is known to be furious at his chairman’s failureto bring long time Senegalese target Papa Bouba Diop.