Diego Maradona to move to Portsmouth according to reports
22 July 2009 05:44
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The former Argentina star is poised to leave his current job as manager of the Argentine national team and move to Fratton Park, according to e-mails seen by Arabianbusiness.com, a website reported to have close links with the club's new owner, United Arab Emirates tycoon Sulaiman al-Fahim.
Mr al-Fahim's takeover was confirmed this week, and after confirming the permanent appointment of Paul Hart as manager, Maradona would be the club's 'global ambassador', with responsibility for buying and selling players.
Maradona's lawyer Angel Oscar Moyano reportedly says that Maradona has offered Portsmouth 'his mediation for signing players of top level [sic] who with the support of Diego Armando Maradona, will be ready to come to Portsmouth FC.
'He's got all the top players ready and he's even ready to leave the Argentine national team.'
Mr Moyano is also alleged to have said that Maradona had already lined up four stars to bring to Portsmouth, but none of them have yet been named.
Mr al-Fahim is a long-standing admirer of Maradona and plans to open a Maradona Sports Café in the UAE next year, while he is also close friends with Maradona's cousin Remigio.
Despite enjoying almost divine status in Argentina, whom he led to victory in the 1986 World Cup, Maradona has struggled as manager of the national team since he took over from Alfio Basile in November last year.
Argentina suffered a humiliating 6-1 defeat to Bolivia in April, their heaviest defeat in half a century, and qualification for next year's World Cup in South Africa is still not secure.
Nobody at Portsmouth was available for comment.