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Byline: By Alan BIGGS

PORTSMOUTH are targeting Leeds manager Kevin Blackwell as a likely replacement for Alain Perrin.

The Frenchman is under intense pressure - despite yesterday's win at Everton - and looks set to become the first managerial casualty of the new Premiership campaign.

Chairman Milan Mandaric wants to revert to an English manager following his decision to appoint Perrin in place of Harry Redknapp - and The SP understands Blackwell heads his list.

The Elland Road boss has built a reputation as one of England's brightest managerial talents.

Yet he is gettable. The former Sheffield United coach has only eight months left on his Leeds contract and has yet to be offered a new deal.

Although chairman Ken Bates rates Blackwell, he is keeping his options open and his manager is doing the same.

Both parties are content with the arrangement, but the picture could change dramatically with a Portsmouth approach.

Mandaric has taken soundings on Blackwell, who wants to operate again in the Premier League after helping his club survive financial meltdown when they were relegated two seasons ago.

And Blackwell is heading back towards the top flight after Leeds' impressive start.

But Pompey could offer him a short-cut to the Premiership that he would find hard to resist.


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Title Annotation:Sport
Publication:The People (London, England)
Date:Sep 11, 2005
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