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Distin heading for the exit?

FURTHER UPDATE: According to Stuart Pearce, Distin is going nowhere and he is hopeful that he will still put pen to paper on a new deal:

"He's a Manchester City player and he will be on our tour, so I was quite surprised to turn on the TV and see over my corn flakes Sylvain was supposed to be talking to Middlesbrough".

Maybe stories of his departure were premature after all. We shall see...

UPDATE: Early reports today suggest he is travelling to Middlesbrough for talks ahead of a possible move to the North-East. Will post more later if the move goes ahead...

There has been more weight to the possibility of Sylvain Distin leaving the club in the not to distant future, with one source suggesting he will sign for Portsmouth in the next couple of days.

It will be both a surprise and a disappointment if indeed it is true, as the reason for stalling on a new deal was always thought to be the fact that Distin wanted to make sure that the club was heading in the right direction both in the table and calibre of players brought in - something that is acceptable to a player who has the talent to be playing both at European and international level, and previous rumours suggested Lyon, Liverpool or even Newcastle was a likely destination if he did depart.

Portsmouth - having managed to stave off relegation thanks to a late season escape, seem to be linked to every available player this summer and 'Arry Redknapp appears to have bundles of cash burning a hole in his pocket.

A move to Fratton Park though would seriously question Distin's ambition though and suggest that the pay packet on offer is the driving force behind any move. Whilst they clearly have money to spend, they haven't yet attracted quality players over the summer and it is not unfair or disrepectful to suggest it would hardly be a move upwards in terms of club stature.

Would a £4 million move (as the fee has been suggested) be good business? With only a year left on his contract it would be a good fee for someone who could walk out on a free this time next year, but it will leave a big hole at the back with only Nedum Onouha and Micah Richards (despite their clear potential) obvious candidates to partner Richard Dunne.

Distin for me would be hard to replace and has been probably our most consistent performer the past couple of seasons. It must therefore be tempting despite any bids to keep hold of him for this season to keep a player of his quality at the club and still have a year left in order to agree any future deal with Distin.