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Benjani completes Man City move

Benjani
Redknapp bought Jermain Defoe to replace Benjani

Zimbabwe striker Benjani's protracted move from Portsmouth to Manchester City has been resolved with Pompey to receive an initial fee of 3.87m.

The 29-year-old has signed a two-and-a-half year deal with City after passing a medical on Monday.

If Benjani makes 75 senior starts Pompey will receive a total of 7.6m.

"I'm delighted we have signed such a quality player, and I am looking forward to working with him," said City boss Sven-Goran Eriksson.

Benji's as strong as an ox and never misses a day's training

Portsmouth's director of communications Gary Double

The on-off transfer saga had been in doubt after City tried to pull out of the deal, expressing concern about a knee injury Benjani had surgery on 18 months ago.

City said the striker had arrived in Manchester too late to complete the deal before last Thursday's midnight transfer deadline.

Pompey called in the Premier League and, upon examining the relevant paperwork, officials were satisfied that the deal had been completed by the close of the transfer window on 31 January.

"I'd like to thank Portsmouth, the Premier League and the Football Association for their help, understanding and assistance in enabling this transfer to be completed to the satisfaction of all concerned," City chief executive Alistair Mackintosh told the club's website.

"In particular I would like to thank Peter Storrie (chief executive) of Portsmouth and Sir David Richards of the Premier League for their hard work and pragmatism."

Portsmouth's director of communications, Gary Double, said there was no issue with the striker's fitness.

606: DEBATE

"It's good to get this sorted for both clubs and of course for Benji, who is the most important person in this," he told The News. "Manchester City are concerned about Benji's knee, whereas both Portsmouth and Benji know there's not a problem.

"He's as strong as an ox and never misses a day's training, but in order for the deal to go through for Benji we've agreed to phase the payments.

"The terms have been changed, however. Portsmouth will still get the agreed fee. We are happy this matter has now been settled to everyone's satisfaction.

"Benji has been great for Pompey and we wish him every success for the future."

Benjani, who joined Portsmouth in January 2006 in a 4.1m deal from Auxerre, was this season's leading goalscorer at Fratton Park with 12 goals.

He could make his debut for City against Premier League champions Manchester United at Old Trafford on Sunday.

see also
Defoe deal permanent, say Pompey
05 Feb 08 |  Portsmouth
Man City complete Caicedo signing
01 Feb 08 |  Man City
Transfer window winners & losers
01 Feb 08 |  Football
Defoe told he can leave Tottenham
08 Jan 08 |  Tottenham Hotspur


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