Crouch closes in on Pompey move

Liverpool today gave Portsmouth permission to open talks with their England forward Peter Crouch. Pompey have previously had one bid for the 27-year-old, believed to be £9 million, turned down.

However, Liverpool have now revealed they have reached an agreement with their Premier League rivals, opening the way for negotiations between the south-coast club and their former player. "We have reached a verbal agreement with Portsmouth and have given them permission to speak with Peter," a spokesman told the Reds' official website.

Crouch joined Liverpool for £7 million from Southampton, having previously played for Pompey during the 2001/02 season.