Villa prepare £8m Yakubu offer

Click to follow
The Independent Online

Aston Villa will revive their search for a new striker by making an approach for the Portsmouth striker Aiyegbeni Yakubu after the Nigerian ended weeks of speculation yesterday by admitting that he would be ready for a move away from Fratton Park this month.

Aston Villa will revive their search for a new striker by making an approach for the Portsmouth striker Aiyegbeni Yakubu after the Nigerian ended weeks of speculation yesterday by admitting that he would be ready for a move away from Fratton Park this month.

Portsmouth have valued the 22-year-old, who is represented by the influential Israeli agent Pini Zahavi, at around £12m, but in the current market Villa would consider a bid of around £7m to £8m for the player. After losing out on James Beattie, their manager, David O'Leary, has discussed spreading his transfer budget over four signings, but the team's record of one goal in their last five Premiership matches has underlined the pressing need for a striker.

The new Portsmouth manager, Velimir Zajec, has agreed that Yakubu, who has 11 goals this season and was the Premiership's second-highest goalscorer last season, would be allowed to leave - given the right offer. The striker's willingness to give an interview to Sky Sports yesterday about his future suggested that his advisors had resolved to seek a move for him this month.

Villa missed out on Beattie after they failed to put together a set of personal terms that matched Evertons. The £6m they offered is still at O'Leary's disposal and the Villa manager needs to extend his attacking options with Darius Vassell still not back in action following his leg break in October.

"In football anything can happen," Yakubu said. "I love the club, I enjoy myself here. If another club came in and the club think it is a good offer I would have to think if it was good for me too.

"It is a good feeling to play in a bigger club, to play with a club in the Champions' League. If Portsmouth can do that [qualify for Europe] than I would be happy to stay. I need to speak to my agent to see if there is a club for me."

The Nigerian international has two years left on his contract and his former side Maccabi Haifa claimthey would be due a percentage of any transfer fee. The striker, who caught the eye playing against Manchester United in the Champions' League, joined Portsmouth on loan in January 2003.

Panathinaikos have brushed aside speculation that the Euro 2004-winning midfielder Angelos Basinas could join Portsmouth this month. The 29-year-old Greek international attracted Portsmouth's attention last summer after impressing in a friendly at Fratton Park. But a Panathinaikos spokesman, Theologos Alexandratos, said: "I don't think there is any possibility of a transfer at the moment. There was an offer last year but in June we may sort something out."

Comments