O'Neill sees off interest from City to capture Leeds prodigy Delph
Tuesday 04 August 2009
Martin O'Neill once again demonstrated his faith in young English talent when he met Leeds United's £5.5m asking price to bring teenager Fabian Delph to Aston Villa yesterday.
Despite the late intervention of Manchester City in the bidding for Delph, it was Villa who have met the asking price for the 19-year-old who was voted the player of the year at Leeds by his team-mates last season. Delph was considered by many of the Premier League's top clubs, with City, Everton and Spurs, another investor in young talent, also weighing up a bid.
Leeds intimated that other clubs had tried to hijack the deal after Villa agreed a price. A spokesman said: "Leeds United wishes to place on record our appreciation for the honourable manner in which Aston Villa have conducted their interest in the player. The club has resisted approaches from other Premier League clubs since agreeing terms with Aston Villa. Having given Villa our commitment to transfer the player (subject to a medical), we had no intention of going back."
Delph, who was originally a junior player at Bradford City, made his debut for Leeds at the age of 17. He is an attacking midfielder who has also played on the left side. As the League One club's most saleable asset, Leeds have been adamant that they would get the asking price for a player who, for all his promise, at £5.5m is still something of a gamble for a Premier League club.
O'Neill has now committed around £20m on Stewart Downing and Delph this summer but still has one of the smallest squads in the Premier League. He has lost Gareth Barry to Manchester City and it remains to be seen whether Stilian Petrov will require an operation on his dislocated shoulder. Further targets include Jermaine Jenas, Sylvain Distin and Stephen Warnock.
Latest in Sport
England 29 Wales 18 match report: Stuart Lancaster's men enjoy their day in the sun at expense of weary Wales
Ashley Cole and Luke Shaw rise to the bait to deny they are the rumoured 'gay England footballer'
Chelsea 4 Tottenham 0 match report: Samuel Eto’o stoops to conquer sorry Spurs
FA Cup semi-final draw: Arsenal to meet Wigan Athletic at Wembley, Hull paired with Sheffield United
Arsenal 4 Everton 1 match report: Revitalised Mesut Özil breathes life into Arsenal
- 1 International Women's Day 2014: The shocking statistics that show why it is still so important
- 2 Orgasm machine to deliver climax at the push of a button
- 3 Dear 'The Sun', breast cancer isn't sexy
- 4 Teacher shows sex tape featuring herself to pupils during class by mistake
- 5 Singapore sting: Sky-high prices are pushing locals to the edge of affordability
Britain's top vet sparks controversy with call for ban on slashing animals' throats in 'ritual' slaughters for halal and kosher meat products
If you're horrified by a flame-roasted dog, you should be shocked at a hog roast
Poor 'live like animals' says Boris's privately educated sister after going on 'poverty safari'
Exclusive: Impact of immigrants on British workers ‘negligible’
Vince Cable: Teachers 'know absolutely nothing' about the world of work
Ukraine crisis: Russia pledges to 'retaliate against sanctions' as Ukrainian president says Crimea vote will not be recognised