Town eye England striker

THE Benjani Mwaruwari switch from Portsmouth to Manchester City has been closely monitored by Jim Magilton as he plots his own next move in the loan market.

Derek Davis

THE Benjani Mwaruwari switch from Portsmouth to Manchester City has been closely monitored by Jim Magilton as he plots his own next move in the loan market.

The Blues boss is considering making a loan move for Pompey striker David Nugent, who is surplus to requirements at Fratton Park.

Although the 'emergency' loan window opens for business on Thursday, Magilton would probably not take Nugent until February 22. That would mean the one-time England international would be available to the Blues through the play offs if needed.

Magilton was keen to see if Benjani did complete the move from Portsmouth and if it might affect his chances of landing Nugent.

But it is understood Harry Redknapp would be willing to allow the former Preston striker to go out on loan once he has recovered sufficiently from a hernia operation.

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Pompey now have Jermain Defoe, Niko Kranjcar and Milan Baros, in attack with Muntari and Kanu, returning from the African Cup of Nations, although the former Arsenal striker Kanu is a long-term injury doubt.

Defoe's move from Portsmouth to Tottenham is a loan deal rather than a permanent transfer and the size of the fee received for Benjani could have a knock-on effect on what Portsmouth are prepared to offer Spurs in order to make the Defoe deal permanent.

Manchester City and Portsmouth look set to agree a new deal that would take Benjani Mwaruwari to Eastlands.

The Zimbabwe striker had been left in limbo after City tried to back out of signing him for £7.6million - with Portsmouth claiming the move had already been signed.

The Premier League were called in to adjudicate and it is understood they confirmed the paperwork for the move had been submitted before the transfer deadline on Thursday night.

With the Premier League keen for the clubs to agree a compromise it now looks as though Benjani, the third leading scorer in the top flight so far this season, will move to City but possibly for a lower fee or on a loan deal.

Nugent has been a constant thorn in Town's side over the years scoring seven goals in six games against the Blues, including the goal for Pompey last month that knocked Ipswich out of the FA Cup.

Town have also been keeping tabs on Sheffield United's Danny Webber and Leon Best at Coventry City.