Portsmouth have won the race for the signature of Fulham 29-year-old midfielder Papa Bouba Diop.

He has joined the south coast club for an undisclosed fee, thought to be in the region of £3m, on a three year deal.

Pompey boss Harry Redknapp has been tracking the imposing midfielder for much of the summer and has finally landed his man.

The £2.5 million rated Senegal international, who had been told by Cottagers’ manager Lawrie Sanchez that he could leave Craven Cottage after he stated he was seeking a new challenge.

Pompey manager Harry Redknapp was said to be anxious to bring in the physically imposing Diop to link up in central midfield with summer signing Sully Muntari.

Diop said he had a number of offers to choose from, and Newcastle United were one of the clubs linked with him. So too were Birmingham City, Sunderland and Everton.

This evening Diop told the Pompey website “It’s nice to be here.” “It’s a good move for me and a good move for the club.

“It was an easy decision to make and I am very happy.”

Diop added: “Three years ago was the first time I’d come to England and I didn’t understand English football very well.

“Now I understand it very well and i’m happy that I’m at Portsmouth.

“It’s different to Fulham. The fans here are hot for 90 minutes.”

The Senegal international made 70 Premier League appearances for The Cottagers after joining from French side Lens in 2004 and signed a new contract just last year.

He came close to a £5 million move to Wigan in January, but that transfer fell through.