Bordeaux: Utaka 'offered to us'

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Portsmouth forward John Utaka may be offered an escape route back to Ligue 1 this summer by Bordeaux.

The Nigeria international is coming to the end of his second campaign with Pompey but has struggled for game time at the Barclays Premier League club this season.

"Effectively, John Utaka has been offered to us," said Les Girondins president Jean-Louis Triaud. "I told that to (Bordeaux coach) Laurent Blanc but I don't deal with the sporting side of things. I pass things on but it's the coach who makes the decisions."

The 27-year-old knows French football well having spent a total of five years in Ligue 1 - first at Lens and then at Rennes, with whom he starred between 2005-07. And Utaka could return to France if Bordeaux follow up their interest in him.

"I'm surprised at his age, since he is only 27. He must have started his career at a very young age because people have been speaking about him for a long time. No decision has yet been taken. But I know John wants to return to France," added Triand.

Triaud added that Bordeaux were still keen to sign Yoann Gourcuff on a permanent basis at the end of the season. The France playmaker is on a year-long loan at the Gironde club from AC Milan but is also believed to be interesting a number of other teams, including Bayern Munich.

Bordeaux have until May 31 to take up the option of buying Gourcuff for 13.5 million euros, provided Gourcuff agrees to the move.

"We haven't had time to discuss this with him, with there being matches every three days and also with the international break," Triaud said in Aujourd'hui Sport.

"It will serve nothing to agitate things. There is no rush. The coach wants to keep him, the directors too, and the shareholders have told us they will help us out with it. But if he really doesn't want to stay with us, we aren't going to keep Gourcuff against his wish."

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John Utaka

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