Pompey takeover talks crucial for Crouch and Johnson
Glen Johnson and Peter Crouch will seek assurances from Portsmouth's prospective new owners before they decide their own future this summer. England defender Johnson is ready to join former manager Harry Redknapp at Tottenham, while there is interest from Aston Villa and Everton in Crouch should Pompey opt to sell. However, the emergence last week of an apparently credible takeover bid from a Middle East consortium headed by Dr Sulaiman Al-Fahim may yet convince two of the cashstrapped club's most bankable assets to reconsider. A source said: 'Both players are ambitious. They enjoy playing for Portsmouth and enjoy their life on the coast so if the new owners are to invest and put together a really good team, they may be tempted tostay. Otherwise, both boys know there is interest from other clubs outthere.' Al-Fahim, who was initially the front man in the Abu Dhabi takeover of Manchester City at the start of last season, is doing due diligence after agreeing in principle to buy Portsmouth from Alexandre Gaydamakfor an estimated £80million. But Al-Fahim's credibility has been hit by the ongoing problems in his business empire. Investors in Hydra Properties, the tycoon's flagship company, are upset about construction delays, changes to plans and price hikes in the midst of the global property slump which has hit the United Arab Emirates particularly hard. Four angry backers were thrown out of Hydra's offices in Abu Dhabi earlier this month. Billionaire Al-Fahim insists Hydra's travails have no impact on the Portsmouth bid, but the problems are at least an unwelcome distraction. If the takeover proceeds, he and his mystery backers will also have to pass a more rigorous Premier League fit and proper person test, which will be rubberstamped by the 20 member clubs at this week's AGM in Leicestershire. The financial authorities are also expected to monitor any deal closely.
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