Monday, January 28, 2008
Pompey new boy Baros set to face Champions
Lyon striker Milan Baros has completed his six-month loan move to Portsmouth
and looks set to face Manchester United at Old Trafford on Wednesday after it
was confirmed David Nugent must have a hernia operation.
Negotiations to sign the former Liverpool and Aston Villa forward were already
well advanced before Nugent, in a rare first-team start, was withdrawn with a
groin injury at half-time in Saturday's 2-1 FA Cup win over Plymouth.
The former Preston striker will now go to Germany to be treated by the same
surgeon who operated on Newcastle's England striker Michael Owen and West Ham's
Craig Bellamy earlier this season.
Baros could earn himself a permanent deal with Pompey if he impresses between
now and the end of the season but he is focusing on settling in and getting up
to speed with the UEFA Cup hopefuls.
'All I am thinking about now is to do my best for the club for the rest of
the season. Then I will look at what happens at the end of that,' he said.
'I came here because both sides quickly agreed the deal and I need to be
playing regularly before the European Championships start.
'This is a team that I believe can do well and everybody here is committed to
getting into Europe.
'There were three strikers for just one position at Lyon, which is a big
club, and I was not getting into the team.
'This looks like the best solution for me and hopefully I can settle here
again quickly having had five years in English football before.
'I speak the language and know what is going on. That makes things much
Baros cost Aston Villa £6.5million when they bought him from Liverpool in 2004
but last January moved to Lyon, with Norway striker John Carew going in the
The Czech Republic striker could have stayed on in France and hoped for a
place in the Champions League clash with Manchester United next month but could
now come up against Sir Alex Ferguson's Premier League champions sooner than
'It is a tough game to begin with and United are the favourites but if we go
there and fight we can get a result because I know the players here and they
have some top quality,' he added.
Manager Harry Redknapp has seen his squad squeezed by injuries and African
Nations Cup call-ups but he expects Baros to be his last signing of the transfer
'It looks like this will be my last but you never know, although the owner
has spent a load of money already,' he said.
'But Baros is a terrific loan and I think there are more than a few clubs who
would want him under these arrangements.'
Despite the arrival of Baros, Portsmouth's 12-goal striker Benjani Mwaruwari
is looking to extend his stay at Fratton Park beyond his current deal.
'There are talks going on over a new contract and we are still working on it
but I'm very happy at Portsmouth,' he said.
'I would love to stay here for the rest of my career but if it is two or
three more years I would be pleased with that.
'I struggled at first but now everybody here is good to me and I feel
Pompey captain Sol Campbell has returned to training after a back injury and
should figure against United after missing the last two matches.