The future of Nigeria international forward John Utaka at English Premier League club Portsmouth has been mired in uncertainty as he struggled for regular playing time last season, however, it seems he will remain with the managerless outfit.
Utaka has been linked with a return to France, where champions Bordeaux and his former club, Rennes, have been reportedly interested in signing him.
However, his younger brother, Peter Utaka, who is with Danish club Odense, has told Goal.com that the Nigeria international will stay back and fight for his place at the south coast club.
"From what I have reliably gathered, Portsmouth's new owners are most likely to bring in Sven-Goran Eriksson as manager, and [he] was the man who wanted John to play for him at Manchester City before he opted for Portsmouth," disclosed Utaka Jnr.
"He therefore has no reason to quit the club. He will stay and fight for his first-team place."
After a largely anonymous season, John Utaka returned in the final weeks of the season to post some encouraging displays as Pompey steered clear of relegation.
“John was injured and when he got back, it was a bit difficult for him to get back into the team as many things had changed at the club," said Peter. "He was certainly not happy that he was not playing, but it had nothing to do with his quality as a player. But once he got his chance again, he took it and gained in match fitness and confidence. And now, once he has make up for lost time, he will be unstoppable next season.
"His quality has never been in doubt, and if he is given his chance to play in his preferred position in attack, and not on the wings, he will deliver."
Samm Audu, Goal.com