Pompey to deal for Utaka?
By Graeme Bailey
Last Updated: 01/01/70 1:00am
French reports claim Portsmouth are ready to offer Niko Kranjcar to land John Utaka.French reports claim Portsmouth are ready to offer Niko Kranjcar to land John Utaka.
The Rennes striker has shone in recent seasons, hitting double figures in his last three campaigns.
Pompey boss Harry Redknapp is known to be a keen admirer of the 25-year-old Nigerian and has made enquiries.
Redknapp wants at least two more strikers in his squad to mount a possible top-six assault next term and Utaka is very high on his list of targets.
Rennes general manager Pierre Dreossi has admitted on local television that should Utaka leave, it would be for the Premier League.
"If he must leave, it will be for England but for the moment he is with Rennes," said Dreossi.
Rennes' asking price has thus far put off a firm offer from Portsmouth, but the possible inclusion of Kranjcar into a deal could smooth things over.
Redknapp would be loath to lose a player he rates as highly as Kranjcar, but he may see the signing of Utaka as essential and could be willing to do business with the Croat.
Rennes are themselves planning for Utaka's possible departure and they are being closely linked with a move for Lyon's Sylvain Wiltord.
Meanwhile, youngsters Etienne Didot and Gregory Bourillon are close to penning new deals with the Brittany club.