City to scout Utaka

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Manchester City are to watch John Utaka in action as the club weigh up a bid for the Lens striker.

The Nigeria international has caught the eye of City boss Stuart Pearce, who is looking to pep up his attack over the summer.

City have yet to replace Nicolas Anelka and Pearce wants to ensure he has enough attacking cover in his squad for next season.

A City scout is due to put Utaka under the microscope on Saturday evening when Lens play Toulouse in the final Ligue 1 game of the season.

Utaka has scored 12 goals for Lens this term and has several clubs on his trail, following an impressive three years in France.

Rennes and Monaco are admirers, while City's Premiership rivals Birmingham City and Tottenham Hotspur have also been credited with an interest in the 23-year-old.

Should Utaka impress the City observers, then a fee of £2.5 million is likely to be required to tempt Lens into doing business.

Meanwhile, Lens have struck a deal to keep Cameroon international Benoit Assou-Ekotto at the club on a long-term basis.

The full back has broken into the first team on a regular basis this season and has now signed a deal committing himself to Sang et Or until 2010.