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Last Updated: Thursday, 12 July 2007, 15:15 GMT 16:15 UK
Utaka: Kanu should stay
John Utaka
Utaka wants to play alongside fellow Nigeria Kanu at Portsmouth
Nigerian star, John Utaka, says he can help persuade his international team-mate Nwankwo Kanu to sign a new deal with English Premier League side Portsmouth.

The 25-year-old striker, who notched up 23 goals in 73 games for previous club Rennes in France, now wants to see pal Kanu commit his future to the south coast side.

Kanu, 30, has so far refused to sign a new one-year deal which would trigger an additional year if he plays in 20 games or more next term.

He has not yet returned to Fratton Park to join his team-mates in their pre-season preparations.

Harry Redknapp
Of course I want Kanu to come back. Everybody here wants him to come back
Harry Redkanpp,
Manager of Portsmouth

The only contact manager Harry Redknapp has been able to make with the former Ajax, Inter Milan and Arsenal star has been via Utaka's mobile phone.

Utaka has revealed that Kanu played a key role in bringing him to Portsmouth and said: "Of course I would like Kanu to be around.

"I am friends with him and he told me it would be good to come here. He convinced me to join. He talked to me a lot about the club and the fans."

Redknapp insists he wants to secure Kanu for at least another year but admitted other signings are in the pipeline.

He said: "I've got a couple of options. Another forward, maybe a wide man, but of course I want Kanu to come back. Everybody here wants him to come back.

"He did a great job scoring 12 goals for us last season after a some people thought he was finished.

"I only signed him a couple of days before the start of the season and now I think we have made him a very fair offer, one more year - plus another if he plays 20 games.

"He will do that, won't he ?"

Portsmouth boss keen to keep Kanu
12 Jul 07 |  Portsmouth


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