Boro set to sign Ehiogu for £8m

Click to follow
The Independent Online

Middlesbrough hope to complete the signing of the defender Ugo Ehiogu from Aston Villa in an £8m deal after a breakthrough in the long-running transfer saga. The Boro manager, Bryan Robson, is optimistic about concluding a month-long hunt for Ehiogu after Villa re-opened talks in a bid to hurry the move through.

Middlesbrough hope to complete the signing of the defender Ugo Ehiogu from Aston Villa in an £8m deal after a breakthrough in the long-running transfer saga. The Boro manager, Bryan Robson, is optimistic about concluding a month-long hunt for Ehiogu after Villa re-opened talks in a bid to hurry the move through.

Villa are prepared to give Ehiogu money to leave now rather than exercise his right to wait until he is a free agent at the end of next season. The Midlands club are also worried that a change in the transfer system could see Ehiogu's value reduced even more.

Ehiogu refused to join Middlesbrough a fortnight ago when a price was first agreed. Sources said this was a tit-for-tat gesture after Villa blocked previous moves. The final word will still come down to Ehiogu, but he will be helped in his decision by an incentive to go.

Villa could offer Ehiogu as much as £2m to leave, giving them a profit although they also have to pay his previous club, West Bromwich Albion.

Ehiogu and his agent are now discussing the new package but the signs are that the defender will be signed by the weekend and possibly able to face Newcastle on Monday.

Aston Villa have signed the Sheffield Wednesday striker Gilles de Bilde on loan for two months. The 29-year-old Belgian international is set to go straight into the squad for Saturday's clash at Arsenal.

The Aston Villa striker Luc Nilis has begun his rehabilitation programme following the horrific double fracture of his right leg in a collision with Ipswich Town goalkeeper Richard Wright last month. The 33-year-old is undergoing treatment at a clinic in Belgium.

Scotland's Gary Naysmith is likely to sign for Coventry City today. The Hearts left-back is flying to the Midlands after returning from his country's World Cup qualifier against Croatia to discuss terms with the City manager, Gordon Strachan, and should agree to a £1.5m deal. Strachan has pencilled in Naysmith for a debut against Chelsea next weekend.

The Sheffield Wednesday manager, Paul Jewell, has surprisingly made a move to sign the Northampton Town right-back Ian Hendon. The former Tottenham defender moved for a knockdown £50,000 because of an escape clause in his contract.

Hendon chose to join struggling Wednesday's First Division survival fight after also talking to Luton Town. Jewell has been looking for a new right-back all season. He currently has Robbie Stockdale on loan from Middlesbrough, who may now return to the North-east.

The Motherwell goalkeeper Andy Goram could be back in action in two weeks time, despite undergoing a hernia operation on Monday.

The Forfar midfielder Dave Bowman will not play again until December after receiving a seven-match ban from the Scottish Football Association. The veteran former Dundee United player was sent off for two bookable offences by the referee John Fleming during last Saturday's 5-3 defeat by Berwick Rangers, and later accrued three more red cards for foul and abusive language.

Marco Tardelli was yesterday appointed as Internazionale's new coach. Tardelli replaces Marcello Lippi, who was sacked after Inter failed to qualify for the Champions' League and then lost their opening game of the Serie A season to Reggina.

England have dropped one place to 15th in the Fifa world rankings. Scotland are down three places in 25th and the Republic of Ireland are unchanged in 38th place. Northern Ireland and Wales are the biggest moves of the home nations, each country climbing five places to 91st and 108th, respectively.

FIFA WORLD RANKINGS: 1 Brazil 822pts, 2 France 801, 3 Argentina 764, 4 Czech Republic 753, 5 Spain 745, 6 Italy 740, 7 Portugal 726, 8 Germany 719, 9 Netherlands 718, 10 Yugoslavia 711. Others: 15 England 672, 25 Scotland 619, 38 Republic of Ireland 571, 91 Northern Ireland 438, 108 Wales 371.

Comments