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By ESPN Staff
Feb 6, 2008

Pompey chief draws line under Benjani affair

Portsmouth chief executive Peter Storrie has stressed he is entirely happy with the fitness of former striker Benjani Mwaruwari and that was part of the reason why the club allowed Manchester City to pay for him in instalments. The protracted transfer, which City claimed had fallen through just after the January window closed at midnight last Thursday, was finally completed yesterday after the Zimbabwe international signed a two-and-a-half-year deal. City will pay an initial £3.87million up front, with the remaining half of the £7.75million fee due to be paid in three instalments when the 29-year-old makes 25, 50 and 75 starts for Sven-Goran Eriksson's team. City had expressed concerns about a knee injury Benjani had surgery on 18 months ago and that was the reason for the hold up as they tried to renegotiate the deal. But the Premier League confirmed the paperwork for the switch had been submitted before the midnight deadline. The two clubs managed to thrash out a settlement and Storrie is satisfied Pompey will eventually get all their money. 'We, of course, are confident of him playing the required number of games, otherwise we would not have agreed to the deal,' he told his club's official website. 'City had expressed some concern over a knee operation 18 months ago but, as Benji has never shown any sign of trouble since the operation and rarely misses a match or training, we were happy to come to this arrangement. 'Fees from transfers are always spread over a period of time so this is nothing new and we could well be paid the full fee quicker this way than in other circumstances. 'The Premier League have thanked us for adopting this sensible solution and Manchester City are also grateful we have come to this agreement. 'Above all, Benji is no longer in limbo and everyone at Fratton Park wishes him continued success.' City chief executive Alistair Mackintosh was equally delighted the matter had been resolved. 'I would like to thank Portsmouth, the Premier League and the Football Association for their help, understanding and assistance in enabling this transfer to be completed to the satisfaction of all concerned,' he told his club's website. City manager Sven-Goran Eriksson added: 'I am delighted that we have signed such a quality player and I am looking forward to working with him straight away.'