Man City £6m Ehiogu bid

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The Independent Online

Manchester City are ready to double their transfer fee record after tabling a bid for Aston Villa defender Ugo Ehiogu this morning.

Manchester City are ready to double their transfer fee record after tabling a bid for Aston Villa defender Ugo Ehiogu this morning.

The Premiership newcomers paid Portsmouth £3million for striker Lee Bradbury in July 1997 and are now prepared to splash out £6million to secure the services of one of the most consistent centre-backs in the country.

Chief operating officer Chris Bird told City's official website: "We have made an offer to Aston Villa for Ugo Ehiogu which is double our record fee previously paid for a player. We are awaiting a response."

City could face competition from Sunderland for Ehiogu's signature but must be in pole position taking into account that Manchester is closer to his current home in Birmingham and also to his family in London.

Sunderland boss Peter Reid is reportedly interested in the player after failing to land Rangers skipper Lorenzo Amoruso.

Ehiogu has become disillusioned with life at Villa Park after years of underachievement and also being overlooked by successive England managers.

The 27-year-old defender, who began his career at West Brom, indicated recently that he is desperate for a fresh challenge.

One potential problem is a sell-on clause inserted in Ehiogu's contract when he joined Villa from West Brom nine years ago.

But City boss Joe Royle stressed that was something Villa had to sort out at their end.

Royle said: "I know there is a sell-on clause, but we know that the problem is then at the Villa end so you would have to really ask them about that and how they intend to deal with it.

"But we can only deal with the player as he stands. We've made our bid and hopefully it will be accepted."

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