ZIMBABWE skipper Benjani Mwaruwari is set to get a new deal at English Premiership side Portsmouth as a reward for his outstanding start to the season.
Pompey want to secure the future of the 29-year-old striker at Fratton Park a
fter Italian giants were reported to be preparing a £7 million bid for the Zimbabwean.
Several other top European clubs are said to be interested in Mwaruwari, who has surprised all and sundry by topping the Premiership scoring charts with eight goals this season.
Mwaruwari, who joined Pompey for a then record £4,1 million in January 2006, is into the last 18 months of his contract.
Portsmouth manager Harry Redknapp this week said Mwaruwari was not going anywhere.
“Benjani is going nowhere,” Redknapp was quoted in the British media as saying this week. “He is a big player for us, an important one.”
Redknapp, who brought Mwaruwari from French Ligue 1 side Auxerre at a time Pompey were facing relegation, said Portsmouth chief executive Peter Storrie would negotiate a new deal with the Warriors star.
“Peter Storrie is going to sit down with him and start talking about another contract,” Redknapp said.
“He has come so far for us and it’s great to see him scoring goals. It’s good to see him getting his reward for how he’s been playing.
“He is full of confidence at the moment and it’s brilliant to see. The way Benjani shrugged off Micah Richards in the first half on Sunday showed that.
“He just knocked off the ball a player with his strength and power.
“He’s on fire at the moment. Nothing can stop him.”
The new deal would cap a remarkable change of fortune for Mwaruwari, who had struggled to impress when he first arrived at Fratton Park.
Signed to save Pompey from relegation, Mwaruwari could not find the net until he scored a crucial goal which helped complete a great escape at Wigan last year.
Last season Mwaruwari scored nine goals.
But this time round, 13 matches into the season, Mwaruwari is the top-flight league’s top scorer.
“It’s good that people are talking about Benji and they are saying clubs are interested in him,” Redknapp said.
“It shows you how well he’s doing. They wouldn’t be saying that if he was playing badly.
“Even when he wasn’t scoring he was playing well for us, but people see the goals.
‘The fact is he’s enjoying it here and we are not selling him.”
Mwaruwari was not reachable for comment. — Staff Writer.