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Pompey confirm double swoop

Pompey confirm double swoop
By Eurosport

11/07/2007 at 14:47Updated

Portsmouth have completed the double signing of David Nugent from Preston North End and John Utaka from French side Rennes. Nugent arrives at Fratton Park for a fee of around £6 million while Nigeria striker Utaka joins for around 10 million euros.

Both players penned four-year deals, and the double swoop takes Pompey's summer transfer tally to seven players.

Of Nugent, manager Harry Redknapp said: "He is a lad who deserves the chance to play at the top level.

"I think it's good business. I'm confident he's going to be a real hit with this club and that he will have a great future. I'm sure he'll do well for us."

Nugent has been wanted by a number of top-flight clubs, with his departure made all but certain by Preston's failure to win promotion.

The 22-year-old is an Everton fan and was a target of David Moyes, but the Merseyside club could not agree a fee. Sunderland were also unable to meet Preston's asking price and pulled out of the running for his signature.

"I'm delighted," Nugent said. "Portsmouth is a great club and I really can't wait to get started.

"It was a massive decision to make. I took my time over it because it's a big career move."

Nugent scored 33 goals in 94 games for Preston, but has constantly impressed with his pace and off-the-ball movement.

He scored on his full England debut, tapping in from close range in a 3-0 win against Andorra, but was restored to the Under-21 squad for the recent Under-21 Championship.

Utaka, an international team-mate of Pompey striker Kanu, made waves at Rennes with consecutive hat-tricks against Lens and Lyon last year. He ended his time in France with a tally of 22 goals in 62 appearances for Rennes and has netted four times in his 21 caps for Nigeria. Before Rennes he played for three seasons at Lens, who he joined following a season in Saudi Arabia after rising to prominence in Egypt with Ismailly.

He said: "I'm very happy to be here. It has been a long time that I've dreamed of playing in the Premiership.

"Two things brought me here - the club and the fans. I spoke with Kanu and he told me this is a good place."

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