U's want to Cherry-pick hotshot Kuffour

COLCHESTER United are in the hunt to sign Bournemouth hot-shot Jo Kuffour, although Bristol Rovers are currently leading the chase.

Carl Marston

COLCHESTER United are in the hunt to sign Bournemouth hot-shot Jo Kuffour, although Bristol Rovers are currently leading the chase.

Ex-Arsenal trainee Kuffour was the Cherries leading scorer in League One last season, bagging 12 goals in what was a year of upheaval for the Dorset club.

Bournemouth ended up being relegated on the last day of last season, having almost overcome the disadvantage of a 15-point deduction for going into administration.

Kevin Bond's men were hit by a further 17-point deduction at the start of this season in League Two, so they again face a tall order to clamber to safety and then climb up the table.

Kuffour is eager to return to League One, and to that end the 26-year-old slapped in a transfer request last Friday.

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The U's are believed to have made enquiries about Kuffour, who would probably command a fee of just under £100,000. He would strengthen a strike-force department that currently includes Steven Gillespie, Clive Platt, Scott Vernon and Sunday Wasiu.

However, League One rivals Bristol Rovers have already confirmed that they have tabled an offer for Kuffour. They failed in a bid to sign him this summer.

Rovers first-team coach Paul Trollope revealed: “We put in a bid and we have had to tweak it a couple of times. There are a lot of things to do yet in terms of the deal, the player and the agents that normally get involved.

“He has a good goal-scoring record in struggling teams in League One. It's not nailed on yet by any means but the signs are good.”

Bournemouth owner Paul Baker admitted: “There's been some interest this week, but I'm just monitoring the situation at the moment.

“I don't want Jo (Kuffour) to go, but recognise that he wants to play at a higher level. If the right bid comes in and we have got someone lined up to replace him, then we'll listen.”

Kuffour came up through the youth ranks at Arsenal and was in the squad that won the FA Youth Cup in 2000. However, he was released by the Gunners at the end of the 2001-02 campaign, having made his League debut while on loan at Swindon the previous August.

He went on to play for Torquay and Brentford, scoring 12 goals in 39 league games for the Bees in 2006-07 before his switch to Bournemouth.

He scored his first goal of the season in the Cherries' 2-1 defeat to Cardiff City in a Carling Cup first round tie.

Meanwhile, the U's are in action at Swindon Town tomorrow, hoping to record their first league win of the season following a defeat at Hartlepool and a draw against Huddersfield. Midfielder David Perkins will serve the fifth and final match in his suspension.

The U's Johnstone's Paint Trophy first round tie at Millwall has been confirmed for Tuesday, September 2 (7.45pm).

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