Newspaper article Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)

Hands off Our Yakubu

Newspaper article Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)

Hands off Our Yakubu

Article excerpt

Byline: Eric Paylor

PORTSMOUTH have been told their former striker Yakubu is not for sale at any price.

The South Coast side have been completely rebuffed with an ambitious inquiry for Boro's 24-year-old Nigerian striker.

It's a double Boro blow for Pompey boss Harry Redknapp, who had hoped to entice Mark Viduka to Fratton Park.

According to the Evening Gazette's sources, Viduka has informed Pompey and other interested Premiership clubs that he is signing for Newcastle United.

In fact there are reports that contract talks were due to take place at St James' Park today.

Yakubu has been linked in the media with a potential Pompey return on several occasions this summer.

But Gareth Southgate has never had any intention of selling a player who scored 16 goals last season.

The Boro manager is still awaiting official confirmation that Viduka is going to St James', but is already in consultation with his staff about finding a suitable replacement.

The Midlands papers have linked Boro with West Brom's pounds 4m-plus rated striker Diomansy Kamara.

The loss of Viduka is a blow for everybody at the Riverside, and Southgate knows he cannot afford to see his attack further weakened while he concentrates on trying to improve Boro's attacking output.

Redknapp made no secret of the fact he wanted to sign Viduka and, along with Birmingham boss Steve Bruce, was a disappointed man when it became clear earlier this week the Aussie was going to St James'.

The possibility of Redknapp taking Yakubu back to Fratton Park also ended with a closed door.

Boro paid Pompey pounds 7.5m for Yakubu two years ago and he has responded with 35 goals.

Despite failing to sign either of the Boro forwards, Redknapp has already been very busy in the transfer

market. He paid a club record fee of pounds 7. …

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