On this day: Pompey boss fears striker exit

Fratton Park. Picture: Joe Pepler

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On this day in 2007, Harry Redknapp feared Kanu may carry out his threat to quit Pompey.

The striker had reached deadlock with the Blues over a new contract.

Former Pompey striker Kanu

Former Pompey striker Kanu

And Redknapp reckoned Kanu could be stubborn enough not to sign a new deal unless he gets what he wants.

The then 30-year-old was demanding a straight two-year contract as reward for scoring 10 Premiership goals in the 2006-07 season.

But at the time Redknapp believed a year-long deal, with the promise of a second season if Kanu plays 20 games in the 2007-08 campaign, was fair for an outfield player in his 30s.

The situation had not evolved significantly after talks over a new contract opened that January.

But Redknapp did hint he was willing to show flexibility over the 20-game clause.

Kanu only joined Pompey for a season and was now a free agent.

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He had been linked with a number of clubs abroad, including Ajax and Werder Bremen, as he sought a two-year deal.

And Redknapp confessed he would not be surprised if Kanu was playing for someone other than Pompey.

Speaking to The News, he said: ‘I think Kanu might move somewhere else.

‘It wouldn’t be the biggest surprise in the world to me if he did. He’s a strong character.

‘He’s been offered a year and will get another year if he plays 20 games in all competitions. That’s the way it works. It’s fair.

‘The 20-game figure is a safeguard in case the fitness of a player suddenly goes.

‘If a player has been injured, for instance, and hasn’t played 20 games, but he’s done well and is in good shape, then I could look to keep him.

‘It’s not as if I’m going to bomb someone out if they’ve done well but haven’t played exactly 20 games.’

Check out our Pompey/League One transfer window runner here.