Southgate to keep Yakubu

21 July 2007 12:41
Middlesbrough boss Gareth Southgate has rubbished reports linking Yakubu Ayegbeni with a move to Manchester City. The Nigeria international is rumoured to be high on new Citizens boss Sven-Goran Eriksson's summer shopping list following his appointment at the City of Manchester Stadium. The former England coach is believed to be willing to pay up to £12million to land the one-time Portsmouth striker. However, Southgate insists Yakubu remains an integral part of his first-team plans and will not be leaving the Riverside Stadium. "Yakubu is still part of my plans, absolutely," he claimed. "He has been with us in Austria and worked very hard with everybody else. "I read the speculation the same as everybody else but we have had no contact from any other club. "Whether people are trying to unsettle the player I don't know, but he seems very happy to be back with us having reported back from Nigeria and we are looking to him as being a big part of our team."

Source: ESA