Football: Villa sign Ghana's Lamptey

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ASTON VILLA are set to sign on loan the highly rated Anderlecht striker, Nii Lamptey, with a view to a pounds 1m transfer.

Lamptey, the 19-year-old Ghanaian international who spent last season on loan to PSV Eindhoven, was due to link up with Villa when they reported back for pre-season training yesterday. Their manager, Ron Atkinson, has money for signings after agreeing deals for the sale of Tony Daley, Neil Cox and Stephen Froggatt, which should bring in around pounds 4m.

Villa's four Republic of Ireland internationals - Steve Staunton, Ray Houghton, Andy Townsend and Paul McGrath - have been given a month off and told not to report until early August.

Mark Bosnich, the club's Australian goalkeeper, is due to have the plaster removed from his foot this week. He broke a bone after slipping on stairs while on holiday in New York.

Another Australian goalkeeper, Luton Town's 24-year- old Andy Petterson, has signed for Charlton Athletic, with the fee to be decided by tribunal.

Middlesbrough have signed Sheffield Wednesday's central defender, Nigel Pearson, for a fee which could eventually reach pounds 750,000. The 30-year-old will cost an initial pounds 500,000 with a further pounds 250,000 after a stipulated number of appearances. Pearson, who has not played for seven months after breaking his leg, will become Middlesbrough's captain.

The transfer of John Taylor from Bristol Rovers to Bradford City finally went through yesterday. The 20-year-old, who scored 22 goals for Rovers last season, had been hoping to move to Bradford two weeks ago but the deal went on hold when he failed a medical following a recent groin operation. Taylor has passed another medical and signed a two-year contract. The fee, expected to be around pounds 250,000, will be decided by a tribunal.

Frank McAvennie, who has been released by Celtic, is weighing up offers from the Scottish First Division side, Airdrie, as well as clubs in Hong Kong and Cyprus.