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Last Updated: Monday, 2 February, 2004, 15:51 GMT
Pompey land LuaLua
Lua Lua is joining Portsmouth
Portsmouth have signed Newcastle's Lomana LuaLua on a three-month loan deal.

Leeds had hoped to land LuaLua as part of the deal that took Michael Bridges to St James' Park for three months.

But the switch fell through and Pompey boss Harry Redknapp moved in to complete a deal before the deadline.

The 23-year-old has flown back from the African Nations Cup, where he has been playing for the DR Congo. Pompey have also signed Leicester City's John Curtis on a free transfer.

Pompey have paid a 100,000 loan fee for LuaLua, and will discuss a permanent deal at the end of the season.

Portsmouth chairman Milan Mandaric, who offered Newcastle 1.5m for LuaLua and defender Andy Griffin at the weekend, said: "We just concluded our mission to sign two decent players at 3pm on Monday.

"My friend Freddy Shepherd (the Newcastle chairman) told me on Monday that the money we offered them wouldn't even get us LuaLua's left leg.

"Well, we now have both legs and the rest of him as well.

"We've paid a 100,000 loan fee and have him for the season. We'll keep talking to Newcastle to make a decision about a possible long-term relationship with LuaLua."

LuaLua's agent Tony Finnigan revealed his client, the former Colchester forward, was eager for regular Premiership action.

He said: "Lomana's chuffed to have the opportunity to play first team football, which is what he will get at a club with a boss who has managed some of the best players this country has ever had.

"He's turned down Leeds and is happy to go to Portsmouth. He just wants to play first team football.

"And, depending on how Lomana does, his loan could be extended or the move made permanent."

Finnigan added Newcastle have written a clause into LuaLua's loan which will allow them to recall him if needed after 28 days.

The Curtis deal did not involve a fee being paid by Pompey but did incur "agency fees".

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