French winger Laurent Robert is set to end his loan stay at Portsmouth and join Portuguese champions Benfica.

Newcastle paid £10.5m for the 30-year-old in 2001 but he left the club in the summer after a series of arguments with manager Graeme Souness.

“It’s an exciting move, a real challenge with one of Europe’s big clubs,” said Robert, who is expected to sign a threee and half year deal.

“Knowing a coach like Koeman really wanted me in his side was enough to convince me it was the right thing to do.”

Robert denied that he had fallen out with new Pompey manager Harry Redknapp.

“I got on great with Harry Redknapp,” he said.

“If anyone can save Pompey, he can.”

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