Utaka signs for goal-shy Montpellier
© Getty Images

Nigerian international striker John Utaka returned to France today when he joined French League Cup finalists Montpellier from English Championship outfit Portsmouth for an undisclosed fee.

The 29-year-old signed a two-and-a-half year contract and his new club will be looking to him to improve their goal rate this season which has yielded just 17 in 20 league matches.

Utaka - capped 43 times - spent five years in France after joining Lens in 2002 where he scored 24 goals in 100 appearances. He then moved to Rennes in 2005 for €6m where he enjoyed a stunning second season with 11 goals.

That earned him a €12m transfer to Portsmouth which featured the high of victory in the 2008 FA Cup and the low of last season where they fought unsuccessfully against relegation from the Premier League and seeing their best players have to leave because of a financial crisis.

Utaka, who has also played in Qatar and Egypt, had a contract with Portsmouth till 2012.