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Last Updated: Friday, 6 January 2006, 13:01 GMT
Portsmouth sign striker Mwaruwari
Auxerre's Zimbabwean forward Benjani Mwaruwari
Portsmouth have smashed the club transfer record by signing Zimbabwe international Benjani Mwaruwari, subject to international clearance.

The 27-year-old, who cost 4.1m from French side Auxerre, was unveiled at a Fratton Park news conference on Friday.

"I'm very happy to join Portsmouth, I like English football and I want to score goals here," said Mwaruwari.

"I had the chance to join Marseille but I preferred to come here - I speak English but my French was still bad.

Boss Harry Redknapp told BBC Radio Solent: "He's quick and strong, can play and join in with other people.

"I spoke to Arsene Wenger about him last week. He told me if you can get him, get the next plane over there and bring him back."

Mwaruwari was named in Zimbabwe's squad for the African Nations Cup later this month.

The forward has found life difficult at Auxerre since Jacques Santini replaced Guy Roux as coach in June 2005 and said he would prefer to join Portsmouth rather than French side Marseilles.

"Portsmouth would be best for me because I speak English but I am still struggling with my French," he said earlier this week.

Once an automatic choice, Mwaruwari has started just 11 of Auxerre's 19 league matches this season.

Mwaruwari has scored 19 goals in 72 league games for Auxerre and was a hero in their 2005 French Cup triumph, scoring in the 2-1 defeat of Sedan in the final.


WATCH AND LISTEN
Interview: Portsmouth boss Harry Redknapp



SEE ALSO
Zimbabwe name Nations Cup squad
03 Jan 06 |  African
Mwaruwari bankrolls Zimbabwe
22 Sep 05 |  African


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