The 23-year-old, signed by Ruud Gullit from Cambridge United near the end of the 1996-97 campaign, saw his senior appearances limited by last season's return of Graeme Le Saux.
Newcastle, too, were in clear-out mode, shifting Jon Dahl Tomasson to Feyenoord for pounds 2.5m and completing the signing of the French striker Stephane Guivarc'h for pounds 3.5m. Newcastle, however, have pulled out of a pounds 2m deal for the Sheffield United wing-back Wayne Quinn.
The Premiership's Gallic headcount was further bolstered by Arsenal signing the David Grondid, an 18-year-old defender, for pounds 500,000 and agreed a unique partnership with his club, St Etienne, to exchange loan players and coaching methods.
Nottingham Forest were also conducting a cross-Channel raid, completing the signing of the 22-year-old striker JeanClaude Darcheville from Rennes for a fee of around pounds 700,000.
Everton's shareholders have forced an extraordinary meeting at which they plan to "shame and embarrass" the Goodison Park chairman, Peter Johnson. The move follows a reported effort by a Surrey-based company, the Wiggins Group, to launch a takeover bid.
Ian Brightwell has joined Coventry from Manchester City.Reuse content