Utaka seeks Pompey stay
Portsmouth misfit John Utaka has told the club he wants to stay at Fratton Park.
Last Updated: 27/06/09 9:03pm
Portsmouth misfit John Utaka has told the club he wants to stay at Fratton Park and prove his worth in English football.
The Nigerian has endured a difficult time since his £7m move from French side Stade Rennes almost two years ago, with speculation rife that he will leave this summer.
Turkish side Besiktas have expressed an interest in the 27-year-old, as well as vast interest from France where he made his name.
However, Utaka showed the kind of form that was missing from his Pompey career towards the end of last term as interim boss Paul Hart deployed him as a striker, prompting a potential turn of fortunes for the Nigerian.
"I still have two years on my contract, so I still hope to be around. I'm enjoying my football at Portsmouth," Utaka told The News.
"I had four games towards the end of the season where I played up front, and that is really where I want to play. So I really enjoyed the last four games.
"I was really enjoying playing under Paul. He is a good manager.
"I really enjoyed those last four games under Paul. I'm already looking forward to the new season.
"Hopefully it will be a better season than last season."
When asked about a potential move away from England, the former Lens man admitted his future is up in the air, but he knows where he wants to be.
"I don't know (whether I'll be sold). I'll see how it goes. But I hope to be at Portsmouth next season," he said.
Utaka's future could depend on the potential new owners of the club, with property tycoon Sulaiman Al Fahim poised to take control.
A potential takeover could ease financial worries at the club, which would prevent the need to cash in on Utaka, although the he admits he is clueless about the club's immediate future.
"I haven't spoken to any of the other players. Everybody has gone on holiday, so I haven't spoke to anyone about it," Utaka said.
"But the situation is good - somebody has come to buy the club and maybe will help improve the club more and more. So it's good."