Belhadj picked Pompey over Barcelona

Portsmouth defender Nadir Belhadj has revealed he snubbed the advances of Barcelona during the winter transfer window, instead agreeing a permanent move to Fratton Park.

The Algerian left-back - who has represented his country 27 times, scoring three goals - has impressed on the South Coast since joining Pompey on loan from French club Lens in September, netting twice in 16 Premier League outings, the first a stunning long-range effort at Sunderland.

A £4.4 million permanent move to the FA Cup holders followed on January 1, with the Algerian revealing that the runaway La Liga leaders had been in touch over a potential move to the Camp Nou, only to be snubbed as he was uninterested in playing a bit-part role for Pep Guardiola's side.

Belhadj had found himself in a similar situation at previous club Lyon, with Italian international full-back Fabio Grosso continually favoured ahead of the Algerian.

"My agent was contacted [by Barca] during the winter transfer window," he told Aujourd'hui Sport. "They wanted to prepare for the departure of Sylvinho and [Eric] Abidal was injured.

"It was very attractive, but I want to play. I don't want to experience a substitute situation again. I suffered at Lyon. It made me mad when Grosso was not good, but remained in the starting XI. I could do my best, but that didn't change anything."

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