Football: Daley set to be Taylor's first buy

GRAHAM TAYLOR'S image of the Wolverhampton Wanderers team who he intends to take into the Premiership next season began to take shape yesterday when he agreed a fee with Aston Villa for Tony Daley and released nine players on free transfers, writes Guy Hodgson.

Daley, whose best season was in 1989-1990 when Taylor was in charge at Villa Park, will cost pounds 1.3m. If personal terms are acceptable, Daley will become Taylor's first signing since he succeeded Graham Turner at Molineux. The 26-year-old winger also won his seven international caps while Taylor was England manager.

Turner's son, Mark, is among the players being released by Wolves. The others include Derek Mountfield, whom Taylor purchased for Villa from Everton in 1988, Kevin Ashley, the full-back, and Cyrille Regis, the striker.

Celtic have given Pat Bonner, the Republic of Ireland goalkeeper, a free transfer along with Charlie Nicholas, Gary Gillespie, Frank McAvennie and Darius Wdowczyk.

The atmosphere at family gatherings is likely to be strained for Gordon Parker, the Colchester United chairman, after he sacked player-manager Roy McDonough - his son-in-law. McDonough guided Colchester to a Vauxhall Conference-FA Trophy double in 1991-92. Lincoln City's Keith Alexander was also sacked yesterday after 12 months in charge.

Nicky Banger, the Southampton striker, has rejected the offer of a new contract. Steve Hodge, Leeds' former England midfielder, is presently training in Portugal with Sporting Lisbon in the hope of a permanent move.

Steve Bruce, the Manchester United captain, will undergo a knee operation in the summer to remove a 'foreign body'. Bruce's team-mate, Paul Ince, also has an appointment to discern whether he requires a hernia operation.

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