There was a defensive transfer merry-go-round in the Premier League yesterday as Sylvain Distin, Richard Dunne and Pascal Chimbonda all found new clubs. Following the arrival of Everton defender Joleon Lescott at Eastlands, Manchester City accepted a bid from Aston Villa for, Dunne, 29, previously the club captain. Everton moved quickly to replace Lescott by signing Portsmouth's 31-year-old French centre-back Distin on a three-year deal. Distin follows his defensive partner Sol Campbell out of the club. Campbell signed for Sven-Goran Eriksson's League Two Notts County on Wednesday.
Despite Sulaiman al Fahim's takeover of the club, Portsmouth have now seen three of their best players leave in the summer, with England forward Peter Crouch having moved to Tottenham. They did make their first signing of al Fahim's reign though yesterday, buying striker Tommy Smith from Watford for £1.8m (Dh10.8m). Tottenham defender Chimbonda was last night undergoing a medical at Blackburn ahead of a move to Sam Allardyce's side.
With left-back Stephen Warnock set for a transfer to Villa, manager Allardyce has moved to find a replacement before letting the former Liverpool player leave. Despite the 30-year-old Frenchman, who has extensive Premier League experience after spells at Wigan, Spurs and Sunderland, making his name as a right-back Allardyce believes that he offers options elsewhere. "It is the versatility I have chosen to go with," said Allardyce. "He has huge experience of Premier League football and he is eager and ready to get away from Tottenham because he has not played enough games for them and he just wants to play football."
Middlesbrough manager Gareth Southgate has confirmed that both defender Robert Huth and striker Tuncay Sanli are in talks with Stoke, with a fee of around £11m agreed for the pair. Fulham have completed the signing of South Africa international Kagisho Dikgacoi, 24, from Durban-based Golden Arrows. * With agencies