Villa close in on £9m deal for Davies

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The Independent Football

Aston Villa were last night on the verge of completing a £9m deal to sign Curtis Davies after being given permission by West Bromwich Albion to speak to the England Under-21 international.

Davies, who has not played this season after submitting two transfer requests, travelled to Villa Park for talks after West Bromwich decided to cash in on their former captain.

Despite interest from Tottenham Hotspur, Villa are the only club to come close to reaching West Brom's initial £10m valuation, which is partly being driven by the fact that there is a sell-on clause with his former club Luton Town, who sold him for £3m, due 12.5 per cent of any fee.

"The bottom line is Curtis hasn't contributed at all for us this season and, if he goes, we'll just get on with what we've been doing," said the West Brom manager Tony Mowbray. If Davies is transferred it means West Brom will have generated an astonishing £27m in fees this summer.

Two deals that are likely to go down to the wire, with the transfer window closing tonight, are West Ham's attempts to sign Nicky Shorey and Giles Barnes. The club were trying to negotiate deals yesterday although they will have to increase their offers.

Reading, who are set to sell Sam Sodje to Charlton Athletic – the Addicks are also signing their former defender Danny Mills – confirmed that they had rejected a £4m bid for Shorey. Manager Steve Coppell described the offer as "nigh on derisory" for the 26-year-old England international left-back.

"I can't deny there was a written offer made," Coppell said. "People may look at us as being a soft touch but we are not going to give players away. Just because we are not a big club and are not aggressive in the transfer market doesn't mean we are such a soft touch that if you put in a stupid offer we will take it."

West Ham have upped their offer to £5m and are also willing to allow Reading to take a player, with Hayden Mullins, Carlton Cole and Nigel Quashie all available. But Reading are apparently insisting on £6m for Shorey who has told them he wants to go. Coppell said he couldn't guarantee that Shorey will not leave today: "I can't say that about any player because the transfer deadline is a strange thing."

West Ham have also been rebuffed – again – in their efforts to sign Barnes. Bids of £2.5m and £4m have been rejected while they had hoped to succeed with an offer of £5m. It appears Derby County may be holding out for even more. "We have had a bid for Barnes but it is nowhere near our valuation," said manager Billy Davies.

"My preference is that he does not leave us because I feel he has unfinished business here. However, every player has a price and it is all about valuation, whether the bidding club can meet the valuation at the player's existing club."

Davies is himself facing competition for one of his targets. Derby felt they were close to signing striker Mohammed Kallon from Monaco but it has emerged that he has also held talks with Birmingham City.

One striker who is going nowhere is Nicolas Anelka, who has signed a new four-year deal at Bolton Wanderers. The 28-year-old was keen to leave but the only offers for him came from West Ham and Portsmouth. Newcastle United, meanwhile, are set to complete the signings of the Senegalese pair Abdoulaye Faye, a £2m acquisition from Bolton, and Habib Beye, a defender from Marseilles.