Football: Batty in pounds 4.4m return to Leeds

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The Independent Online
DAVID BATTY will sign for Leeds United today and make his second debut for the Elland Road club against Gordon Strachan's Coventry next Monday.

Leeds and Newcastle have agreed a fee of pounds 4.4m for the England midfielder, who won the old First Division title in a Leeds side captained by Strachan, the Sky Blues' manager, in 1992. Since then Batty has played for Blackburn - winning a Premiership winners' medal three years ago - and the Magpies, but will now return to the club he supported as a boy and spent six years with until 1993 after passing a medical last night. He signed a five-year contract at Newcastle in the summer, but 10 days ago handed in a transfer request.

Leeds quickly emerged as the front-runners in the race to capture Batty, who was 30 last Wednesday. Their first offer of pounds 4m was rejected by Newcastle, who were believed to be holding out for pounds 6m. However, with Leeds raising their bid, and Batty having agreed to waive pounds 800,000 in signing-on bonuses, the way was cleared for him to become David O'Leary's first signing since taking over as Leeds manager.

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