Kanu move to A-League 'a lot of cobblers'

February 14, 2008

Harry Redknapp has dismissed suggestions of striker Kanu moving to Australia as a 'lot of cobblers', but would not stand in the player's way if he wants to walk away from Fratton Park at the end of the season.

Kanu's agent Samuel Okoronkwo claims new Australian club Gold Coast Galaxy have expressed an interest in making the former Ajax, Inter Milan and Arsenal ace their big attraction when they enter the Australian A-League later this year.

He admits it is something he and Kanu 'would like to discuss'.

And Redknapp, en route back to the south coast with his squad after a four-day break in Spain ahead of Sunday's fifth-round FA Cup tie at Preston, said: 'If he wants to go I wouldn't stand in Kanu's way. You don't want unhappy players and I've never tried to keep them here.

'But I think talk of Australia is just a lot of cobblers, though. I think he wants to stay here. The lad seems to be happy and I don't want him to go anywhere. He has been terrific for me.

'He is out of contract at the end of the season but I want him to stay here - and I think he wants to stay.'

In fact, Kanu, 31, needs just two more first-team appearances this season - making a total of 20 - to activate a clause in his latest Portsmouth contract which entitles him to the option of another one-year deal.

And having made his comeback for Pompey as a substitute in the 1-0 win at Bolton last week after being sidelined with a knee injury sustained in the opening game of Nigeria's failed African Nations Cup campaign, he looks favourite to lead the attack on Sunday at Deepdale.

New signing Jermain Defoe is cup-tied and former Preston striker David Nugent is still recovering from a hernia operation, leaving on-loan Milan Baros as Kanu's likely partner up front.

Nugent, who had surgery in Germany just over a fortnight ago, has stepped up his training in Spain but lack of match-fitness may restrict him to a place on the substitutes' bench against his old club, who sold him to Pompey for £6million in the summer.

Sylvain Distin is set to return at the heart of defence after a hamstring injury but Noe Pamarot is ruled out for 'several weeks' with a knee injury suffered at Bolton and Redknapp must decide whether to switch Hermann Hreidarsson to left-back or give a full debut to another on-loan signing, Frenchman Lucien Aubey.