On this day: Portsmouth warned over their pursuit of Middlesbrough striker who would end up at Everton for £11.25m

On this day in 2007, Pompey were attempting to re-sign Yakubu – but were warned: You may not be able to afford him.

By Mark McMahon
Wednesday, 3rd August 2022, 4:54 am

At the time, the player’s agent believed Harry Redknapp's then Blues didn't have the money to see through their interest in the £12m-rated Middlesbrough front man.

It came after Pompey finally landed Kanu, who was set to sign the new deal thrashed out to keep him at Fratton Park.

The Blues had sounded out Boro about bringing Yakubu back to Fratton Park.

Redknapp remained keen to add another striker to his ranks, despite ending the protracted saga over Kanu’s future.

The Pompey boss believed he was still a player light up front after deciding to use John Utaka mainly as a wide man for the season ahead.

The Blues had been in touch with their rivals in the north east and deals involving players as well as cash had been mentioned.

Then Middlesbrough boss Gareth Southgate wanted Gary O’Neil.

Former Fratton favourite Yakubu

But, despite reports, Southgate wasn't so keen on taking Sean Davis to the Riverside.

Speaking to The News, Yakubu’s agent, Barry Silkman, claimed Pompey would not have the cash to buy the then 24-year-old after already spending £23m that summer.

Silkman said: ‘Yakubu will not come cheap. I honestly believe Pompey don’t have the money to pay for him.

‘They have spent a lot already. I don’t think they have got it left.

‘I know Harry loves Yakubu. He’s desperate for a goalscorer, and, after Thierry Henry, Yakubu’s got the best goal ratio in the Premier League.

Portsmouth haven’t made a concrete bid for Yakubu, but I would say they have made more than an inquiry.

‘The problem is, the season is not far away and it costs a lot of money to replace a player like Yakubu.

‘Maybe Portsmouth thought the price would go down the closer it got to the season.

‘But Middlesbrough will look at the money Portsmouth have spent for David Nugent, Sulley Muntari and John Utaka and think Yakubu is worth more. That’s where the problem begins.

‘He is proven to score a goal every two games in the Premier League. Players like that are hard to find.’

Of course, Yakubu didn’t return to Pompey in that summer of 2007.

Instead, the Nigerian international moved to Everton for a fee of £11.25m on a five-year contract.

At Goodison he established himself as a fans’ favourite, scoring 25 goals in 82 appearances.

The striker also enjoyed successful spells at Leicester and Blackburn before hanging up his boots in 2017 following a spell at Coventry.

In total, Yakubu scored 43 goals in 92 Pompey appearances following his initial loan move from Maccabi Haifa in January 2003.