Villa deny Taylor left over transfer funds row

Gordon Tynan
Tuesday 20 May 2003 00:00 BST

Graham Taylor's decision to resign as manager of Aston Villa was not connected to any fall-out over transfer fees, according to a statement by the club's board on the official website.

The statement also stressed that the chairman, Doug Ellis, will not be selling his shares in the club and added that a number of candidates have already been identified to replace Taylor, who quit last week.

It read: "Graham Taylor's departure was a surprise to us all, but suggestions that a row between Graham and board members was a decisive factor are untrue. The speculation that board members, either collectively or individually, refused to accept Graham's recommendations on summer activity is also untrue."

Regarding Ellis's future, it continued: "Furthermore, Mr Ellis has no wish to sell his shares, no approaches have been made for his shareholding, nor have any parties notified the club of their intent to acquire a large block of shares - as would be required under Stock Exchange regulations."

Paris St-Germain's future president, Francis Graille, said yesterday that Manchester United want to discuss the transfer of Ronaldinho, the Brazilian whose goal knocked England out of the World Cup.

Speculation about a deal has increased because the United manager, Sir Alex Ferguson, watched Monaco play Sochaux in the League Cup final on Sunday. But Graille, who takes over as PSG president next month, said that, although United had asked for a meeting, he had not consented. "I turned down a meeting with Manchester United officials," he said. "I am in frequent touch with Ronaldinho's agent and brother Roberto Assis, and we will not make any further statement until the end of the month."

PSG play Auxerre in the French Cup final on 31 May, but are expected to lose Ronaldinho as they have failed to qualify for the Champions' League.

Meanwhile, United have given Birmingham first option on their goalkeeper Roy Carroll, with a price tag of around £2m. City's manager, Steve Bruce, has Fulham's Maik Taylor lined up as an alternative.

A player United are reportedly interested in, Leeds' Harry Kewell, may also be a target for Liverpool if the Merseysiders are rebuffed in their pursuit of the Blackburn winger, Damien Duff. Rovers are also set to have talks with David Dunn about his future at the club.

Join our commenting forum

Join thought-provoking conversations, follow other Independent readers and see their replies


Thank you for registering

Please refresh the page or navigate to another page on the site to be automatically logged inPlease refresh your browser to be logged in