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Page last updated at 11:41 GMT, Wednesday, 12 May 2010 12:41 UK

Katlego Mphela postpones Birmingham City talks

By Piers Edwards
BBC Sport, Johannesburg

Katlego Mphela
Katlego Mphela wants to concentrate on playing for South Africa

South Africa striker Katlego Mphela says any talk of a potential move to Birmingham City must be put to one side as he prepares for June's World Cup.

The Mamelodi Sundowns forward, who was top scorer in the South Africa league last season with 17 goals, has been attracting interest from England.

He said: "They've made contact with my agent, they've sent some proposals and I think things are getting there.

"It's not about Birmingham right now, it's about making the country proud."

Mphela looks set to lead the line against Mexico, Uruguay and France when the World Cup hosts take on their Group A rivals.

But the 25-year-old has denied there being any additional pressure as he tries to secure a move overseas, with his previous stint in Europe - a three-year spell with Strasbourg - ending with little fanfare in 2006.

"I don't think it's so much abut your performances - if the team wants you, they want you," the striker nicknamed 'Killer' explained.

"Birmingham are a very decent team, they play well and I think it will suit my style of play if I go there."

"They came to watch when we beat Jamaica recently and they were very impressed, and they've also been following my league games as well."

"They'll come over during the World Cup as well and then we'll take it from there, but they're busy negotiating with my team at the moment."

However, Mpehla freely admits that a decent World Cup showing on home soil could open the door to other avenues.

"Maybe if I play well in the World Cup, I'll get another offer," he added.

The tall striker, whose free-kick against Spain in last year's Confederations Cup made Fifa's shortlist for their inaugural Goal of the Year award, is in the mould of an old-fashioned English number nine.

He was a surprise choice for South Africa's 2009 Confederations Cup squad but silenced his critics when firing two goals past Spain.

And Mphela has stated that despite the 3-2 defeat, his strikes against Iker Casillas laid the platform for his fine displays last season.

"After the Confederations Cup, I had a lot of confidence and told myself that if I can score against the number one goalkeeper in the world then I can score against anyone," he told BBC Sport.

Should Mphela move to the Premier League, he would join fellow Bafana Bafana colleagues Aaron Mokoena, Steven Pienaar, Benni McCarthy and Kagiso Dikgacoi.



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see also
McCarthy dropped by South Africa
01 Jun 10 |  World Cup 2010
Parreira wants quality friendlies
08 Apr 10 |  African
Bafana encouraged by Brazil trip
05 Apr 10 |  African
SuperSport swoop for Mphela
30 Nov 06 |  African


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