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Benjani shock at City move
08 Feb 2008 - 09:43:05
New Manchester City striker Benjani Mwaruwari has revealed he didn't want to leave former club Portsmouth in a 'shock' deadline day transfer.
The Zimbabwe international finally completed his protracted move to Eastlands earlier this week despite City failing to register his transfer ahead of last month's deadline.
Benjani reportedly missed a flight to Manchester after taking an ill-timed nap in an airport lounge.
The Premier League intervened and sanctioned the move which saw City eventually pay an initial £3.87million to Pompey for the striker.
But Benjani, who found the net 12 times for the south coast club this season, has admitted he was cool on the move which came out of the blue.
"It was never my choice to leave Pompey because of the special relationship that I had with the supporters, with my team-mates and with the coach," he told Zimbabwean media.
"I had all that at Portsmouth and I was really enjoying myself playing football in a very good environment and knowing that everyone was happy with what I was doing for the club.
"I was shocked when I was told on Tuesday that I was going to be sold to Manchester City before the transfer window closed.
"I did not know the two clubs had been talking about a transfer and I only knew on Tuesday that there were plans for me to go elsewhere.
"I asked for the reason why I was being sold and they told me that it was a good business deal since Manchester City were paying a lot of money - especially considering my age - and they could also get younger players in return."
However, Benjani hopes his move to the City of Manchester Stadium will prove a positive one.
"It was tough to leave Portsmouth and I was late leaving my home for Manchester because I kept asking myself all day whether this was all true," he added.
"I kept telling myself that it was all a bad dream and I would wake up the following day and still be a Pompey player. But this was not a dream.
"I arrived there late because of one or two reasons and when I looked at the contract they were offering me, I could not believe it and I just signed there and then.
"It's the best deal, in terms of remuneration, in my entire career and I was just happy with the respect I had received from Manchester City so I signed after a few minutes."