Football: Villa to sell Atkinson

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The Independent Online
DALIAN ATKINSON has been declared surplus to requirements at Aston Villa by his namesake, Ron Atkinson, the manager of the Coca-Cola Cup holders.

The 26-year-old striker scored 15 goals last season, but seems certain to become the first casualty in what could become a Villa Park clear-out. Doug Ellis, the club chairman, has told his manager that there are no funds for any major purchases this summer because of the cost of re-development work at the stadium, and that any money for new players must be generated by selling current squad men.

Dalian Atkinson joins his club's South African tour today, after missing last week's departure because of 'domestic problems.' Villa lost 2-1 to Liverpool in Johannesburg yesterday in a challenge match.

Jack Charlton, the Republic of Ireland manager, confirmed on Saturday that, barring injuries, the players preparing for this week's friendlies against Bolivia and Germany will form his 22-man squad for the World Cup finals. One man not going to the United States, however, is Brazil's Mozer, the Benfica defender, who has a liver disease. Roma's Aldair has been called up.

REPUBLIC OF IRELAND WORLD CUP SQUAD: Goalkeepers: Bonner (Celtic), A Kelly (Sheffield United). Defenders: G Kelly (Leeds United), Irwin (Manchester United), McGrath (Aston Villa), Babb (Coventry City), Kernaghan, Phelan (both Manchester City), Moran (Blackburn Rovers). Midfielders: Houghton, Townsend, Staunton (all Aston Villa), McAteer (Bolton Wanderers), Keane (Manchester United), Sheridan (Sheffield Wednesday), Whelan (Liverpool), McGoldrick (Arsenal), McLoughlin (Portsmouth). Forwards: Aldridge (Tranmere Rovers), Cascarino (Chelsea), Coyne (Motherwell), D Kelly (Wolves).