Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

Clubs in Tug of War for LuaLua

Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

Clubs in Tug of War for LuaLua

Article excerpt

Byline: By Miles Starforth

Portsmouth have upped their bid for Newcastle United striker Lomana LuaLua at the 11th hour after the striker held talks with West Bromwich Albion, (writes Miles Starforth).

LuaLua travelled to the Hawthorns yesterday for talks with Gary Megson after United accepted a pounds 1.75m bid from the Baggies.

His agent Tony Finnigan said: "We've had the green light from Newcastle and are now having provisional discussions with West Brom."

Pompey responded by matching West Brom's bid late yesterday and the final decision will now rest with the Congo DR striker, who has not been involved in pre-season training on Tyneside.

Up until now United chairman Freddy Shepherd and his Portsmouth counterpart Milan Mandaric had been locked in a game of brinkmanship, with Pompey at first unwilling to offer more than pounds 1m for LuaLua despite him helping them stay in the Premiership last season.

LuaLua scored four goals in 15 appearances for the Fratton Park club and West Brom's interest has finally forced Mandaric's reluctant hand.

LuaLua had been an Albion target while at Colchester five years ago, but eventually joined Newcastle in 2000 for pounds 2.25m. The 23-year-old, however, was never able to hold down a regular place at St James' Park. …

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