Southgate: Yak will be on tour
By Mark Buckingham
Last Updated: 01/01/70 1:00am
Gareth Southgate is not surprised by the speculation surrounding Yakubu Aiyegbeni.Gareth Southgate is not surprised by the speculation surrounding Yakubu Aiyegbeni, but expects the striker to be on Middlesbrough's pre-season trip to Austria.
Yakubu has been strongly tipped to follow Mark Viduka out of the Riverside this summer after the Australian joined Newcastle United on a free transfer.
Former club Portsmouth have been linked with Yakubu, while Sven Goran Eriksson is rumoured to want the Nigerian at Manchester City.
But Boro have yet to field any offers for Yakubu, with Southgate untroubled by the rumours about a transfer.
Southgate understands why the powerful forward is wanted by other clubs, but is planning to have Yakubu in his plans for next week's tour of Austria.
"All I can say is that I have spoken to Yak very briefly and he assured me he would be on the pre-season tour," said Southgate in the Daily Express.
"Other than that, it is all speculation.
"He has had a bit more time off this summer having played for Nigeria, but that is as much as I can tell you.
"I am not surprised by the speculation. Yak has come second behind only Thierry Henry in the goalscoring charts in the last few years."