Football: Villa win race for pounds 5.75m Dublin

THE 10-DAY Dion Dublin transfer saga was concluded last night when the 29-year-old England striker moved across the Midlands from Coventry to Aston Villa, signing a five and a half year contract.

Having had three bids of pounds 5.1m turned down, Villa obtained permission to talk to Dublin by raising their offer to pounds 5.75m, pounds 1m less than Coventry had accepted from Blackburn Rovers last week before the player turned down the chance to move to Ewood Park.

John Gregory, the Villa manager, had earlier indicated that he would not go above pounds 5.1m, hoping that Coventry would be forced to allow him to approach Dublin because of a clause in the player's contract apparently entitling him to be notified of any bids of more than pounds 5m.

Coventry, however, were determined to obtain the maximum value for a player who had been their top scorer for each of his four seasons at the club.

"We had to meet Coventry half-way on the price," Villa's chairman, Doug Ellis, said. "In part it was to appease Coventry, in part to make sure we could tie up the deal."

Dublin will be available to face Tottenham at home tomorrow at the start of a probably critical month for Villa. The Premiership leaders are due to meet Liverpool, Manchester United and Arsenal in consecutive home matches up to 12 December.

"It is a challenge I'm looking forward to and the prospect of playing alongside the likes of Stan Collymore and Paul Merson is very exciting," Dublin said.

Dublin confessed to having endured some difficult times in the last week or so. Upset by some highly personal remarks attributed to the Coventry chairman, Bryan Richardson, in a fly-on-the-wall book about life at Highfield Road, Dublin was then at the point of calling in his lawyers when the club did not accept his interpretation of his contract terms and he was fined pounds 40,000 by the club when he missed their Worthington Cup match at Luton last week, since when he has been training alone.

"I'm relieved that it's all over, but I don't want to look back on that now. It is time to go forward," he said.

After rejecting the move to Blackburn, Dublin also turned down an approach from Leeds on Wednesday. He decided to join Villa, he said, both because of their League position and because he would not need to move from his home at Stratford-upon-Avon.

"I've had a taste of playing for a top six club with Manchester United and even though I have enjoyed four good years with Coventry, I have not won any silverware and it is every player's ambition to win trophies," he said.

Gregory said he admired Dublin for his skill as a striker, his leadership qualities and his grounding in the game. "He has come up the hard way," Gregory said. "He had a tough baptism under John Beck at Cambridge and I always believe that players who have had that sort of start appreciate their success and do not want to give it up."

Gregory is not worried about deciding who plays alongside Dublin against Spurs, with Collymore, Merson and Julian Joachim among his options."It will be Tottenham who have the problem," he said.

Justifying the length of contract for a player nearing 30, Gregory suggested Dublin might eventually play at centre-half. "That was not a prime reason for signing him, but it is always a possibility. Don't forget we had Paul McGrath playing here well past his 35th birthday and often he was our best player."

Gregory has spent pounds 21m since the summer, on Merson, Alan Thompson and Steve Watson. Gregory, who has been searching for a replacement striker since Dwight Yorke's move to Manchester United in August, said: "I now think we have a squad with the depth to challenge for the title."

scienceExcitement from alien hunters at 'evidence' of extraterrestrial life
Life and Style
Customers can get their caffeine fix on the move
food + drink
David Moyes gets soaked
sport Moyes becomes latest manager to take part in the ALS challenge
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Life and Style
techCould new invention save millions in healthcare bills?
peopleEnglishman managed quintessential Hollywood restaurant Chasen's
Life and Style
food + drinkHarrods launches gourmet food qualification for staff
Mosul dam was retaken with the help of the US
voicesRobert Fisk: Barack Obama is following the jihadists’ script
Arts and Entertainment
Michael Flatley prepares to bid farewell to the West End stage
danceMichael Flatley hits West End for last time alongside Team GB World champion Alice Upcott
Members and supporters of the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender (LGBT) community walk with a rainbow flag during a rally in July
Life and Style
Black Ivory Coffee is made using beans plucked from elephants' waste after ingested by the animals
food + drinkFirm says it has created the "rarest" coffee in the world
Arts and Entertainment
Loaded weapon: drugs have surprise side effects for Scarlett Johansson in Luc Besson’s ‘Lucy’
filmReview: Lucy, Luc Besson's complex thriller
Arts and Entertainment
Jamie T plays live in 2007 before going on hiatus from 2010
arts + entsSinger-songwriter will perform on the Festival Republic Stage
Life and Style
food + drinkThese simple recipes will have you refreshed within minutes
Jermain Defoe got loads of custard
Caption competition
Caption competition
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Business Analyst - Banking - London - £550 - £650

£550 - £650 per day: Orgtel: Business Analyst - Traded Credit Risk - Investmen...

Data Insight Manager - Marketing

£32000 - £35000 Per Annum: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd: Our client based o...

Data Centre Engineer - Linux, Redhat, Solaris, SAN, Puppet

£55000 per annum: Harrington Starr: A financial software vendor at the forefro...

.NET Developer

£600 per day: Harrington Starr: .NET Developer C#, WPF,BLL, MSMQ, SQL, GIT, SQ...

Day In a Page

Air strikes? Talk of God? Obama is following the jihadists’ script

Air strikes? Talk of God? Obama is following the jihadists’ script

The President came the nearest he has come yet to rivalling George W Bush’s gormless reaction to 9/11 , says Robert Fisk
Ebola outbreak: Billy Graham’s son declares righteous war on the virus

Billy Graham’s son declares righteous war on Ebola

A Christian charity’s efforts to save missionaries trapped in Africa by the crisis have been justifiably praised. But doubts remain about its evangelical motives
Jeremy Clarkson 'does not see a problem' with his racist language on Top Gear, says BBC

Not even Jeremy Clarkson is bigger than the BBC, says TV boss

Corporation’s head of television confirms ‘Top Gear’ host was warned about racist language
Nick Clegg the movie: Channel 4 to air Coalition drama showing Lib Dem leader's rise

Nick Clegg the movie

Channel 4 to air Coalition drama showing Lib Dem leader's rise
Philip Larkin: Misogynist, racist, miserable? Or caring, playful man who lived for others?

Philip Larkin: What will survive of him?

Larkin's reputation has taken a knocking. But a new book by James Booth argues that the poet was affectionate, witty, entertaining and kind, as hitherto unseen letters, sketches and 'selfies' reveal
Madame Tussauds has shown off its Beyoncé waxwork in Regent's Park - but why is the tourist attraction still pulling in the crowds?

Waxing lyrical

Madame Tussauds has shown off its Beyoncé waxwork in Regent's Park - but why is the tourist attraction still pulling in the crowds?
Texas forensic astronomer finally pinpoints the exact birth of impressionism

Revealed (to the minute)

The precise time when impressionism was born
From slow-roasted to sugar-cured: how to make the most of the British tomato season

Make the most of British tomatoes

The British crop is at its tastiest and most abundant. Sudi Pigott shares her favourite recipes
10 best men's skincare products

Face it: 10 best men's skincare products

Oscar Quine cleanses, tones and moisturises to find skin-savers blokes will be proud to display on the bathroom shelf
Malky Mackay allegations: Malky Mackay, Iain Moody and another grim day for English football

Mackay, Moody and another grim day for English football

The latest shocking claims do nothing to dispel the image that some in the game on these shores exist in a time warp, laments Sam Wallace
La Liga analysis: Will Barcelona's hopes go out of the window?

Will Barcelona's hopes go out of the window?

Pete Jenson starts his preview of the Spanish season, which begins on Saturday, by explaining how Fifa’s transfer ban will affect the Catalans
Middle East crisis: We know all too much about the cruelty of Isis – but all too little about who they are

We know all too much about the cruelty of Isis – but all too little about who they are

Now Obama has seen the next US reporter to be threatened with beheading, will he blink, asks Robert Fisk
Neanderthals lived alongside humans for centuries, latest study shows

Final resting place of our Neanderthal neighbours revealed

Bones dated to 40,000 years ago show species may have died out in Belgium species co-existed
Scottish independence: The new Scots who hold fate of the UK in their hands

The new Scots who hold fate of the UK in their hands

Scotland’s immigrants are as passionate about the future of their adopted nation as anyone else
Britain's ugliest buildings: Which monstrosities should be nominated for the Dead Prize?

Blight club: Britain's ugliest buildings

Following the architect Cameron Sinclair's introduction of the Dead Prize, an award for ugly buildings, John Rentoul reflects on some of the biggest blots on the UK landscape