Pompey don't want to sell ex-Town loanee

ASMIR Begovic, the man who helped to turn Ipswich Town's season around, is amongst a privileged group at Portsmouth - a player that Pompey DO NOT want to sell.

Carl Marston

ASMIR Begovic, the man who helped to turn Ipswich Town's season around, is amongst a privileged group at Portsmouth - a player that Pompey DO NOT want to sell.

Pompey are in financial strife, with players' wages having been delayed for a third month, so not surprisingly Premier League rivals have been sniffing around their prize assets.

And that includes international keeper Begovic, who has not looked back since his successful loan spell at Portman Road, and his quickfire return to Fratton Park to replace the injured David James.

Roy Keane's Ipswich were rock bottom of the Championship before Begovic's arrival in early September. However, the Bosnian custodian conceded just four goals in the next six games to kick-start Town's gradual climb up the table.

The 22-year-old was recalled by Portsmouth, following an injury to first choice James in late November, since when Arran Lee-Barrett has taken over the mantle at Portman Road.

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Tottenham, one of a handful of clubs contesting a top-four place, have been leading the chase to sign Begovic over the last week.

However, Portsmouth chief executive, Peter Storrie, is adamant that Begovic will not be sold during the January transfer window.

Storrie insisted: "We are definitely not looking to sell Asmir. This lad is the future of the club and he can go on and on."

Begovic has assumed the No. 1 berth at Portsmouth, following James' calf injury. He has been preferred to Jamie Ashdown in goal, and has played the last eight games.

The player himself does not want to leave Fratton Park, even though the south coast club are rumoured to be willing to listen to offers for any of their players, due to the financial crisis.

"I've waited a long time to play games for this club (Portsmouth), and I care about the place. My goal is to be the No. 1 keeper here," insisted Begovic.

Meanwhile, Keane has a welcome goalkeeping dilemma ahead of tomorrow's game at Leicester City. The Irishman has to decide whether to stick with Lee-Barrett, who has impressed in his six outings, or else throw new signing Brain Murphy straight into the fray.

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