On this day: Lualua - I want Pompey stay
On this day in 2007, Lomana Lualua reiterated his desire to stay at Fratton Park
And he demonstrated his commitment by turning down a multi-million pound offer from Qatar.
Question marks hung over the striker’s future after a desperately-disappointing year.
Lualua had scored just two goals since April 12, 2006, and was singled out for criticism by Harry Redknapp in the aftermath of the 4-2 defeat at Watford.
But he had two years remaining on his existing deal and was desperate not to leave.
Lualua revealed representatives from Qatar had twice approached Pompey with a view to signing him.
Yet despite the lure of a multi-million pound tax-free package, there was nowhere else the DR Congo striker wanted to be.
Speaking to The News at the time, he said: ‘People are questioning me and saying I don’t seem to want to play and am happy to sit on my contract.
‘That’s going down low, it hurts me.
‘I had a chance to move but I want to stay here and be part of the good things that will happen at this great club.
'Qatar have contacted the club, I know that.
'The first time was during the African Nations Cup last year. I’m not interested, though – this is where I want to be.
‘It’s not about money. I am 26, not a 30-something. I have an ambition I want to fulfil with Pompey.
'I have played in the Champions League and want to do that again with this club.
‘I was blamed for Watford and if I didn’t contribute that’s fine, I put my hands up and accept the criticism. But it’s not just one person – there are 11 out there.
‘I am a human being and some of the things being said are not nice.
'I do not appreciate certain people saying: “He does not want to play here”. It hurts me.
‘I’ve been playing here for three years and people know what I’m capable of doing.
'This is just one bad year for me.
‘I am the same Lua and will bounce back from it.’