Wednesday, September 2 – 1992
Liverpool striker Dean Saunders is set to join Aston Villa today for £2,5m. Anfield boss Graeme Souness announced that the clubs had settled on a price after his side’s disappointing 1-1 home deadlock with Southampton last night.
Said Souness: “We have agreed a fee with Aston Villa. The player is having discussions with them and n doubt they will continue tomorrow.”
Earlier in the evening chief executive Peter Robinson had said Villa’s offer failed to match Liverpool’s valuation of the 28-year-old striker, who cost a then-British record £2,9m from Derby 14 months ago. Villa manager Ron Atkinson said: “The negotations are continuing and are unlikely to be completed until well into tomorrow.”
He is desperately hoping a package is sorted out so he can present Welsh international Saunders to the Villa fans before tonight’s home Premier League clash with Chelsea.
“There has been a board meeting at Villa Park and an offer made. Now it is a question of putting a package ino place,” said Atkinson.
Souness withdrew Saunders from last night’s match with Southampton so he could talk with Villa. Any delay now will be over personal terms.
Liverpool’s average wage bill is thought to be considerably higher than Villa’s.
If the deal goes through it would be the third million pound-plus transfer for Saunders.
He was Liverpool’s top scorer last season with 23 goals and missed only a handful of matches.
Yet his move to Anfield has been judged a relative flop as he and Ian Rush failed to gel as a partnership.
Last Saturday Saunders was played wide on the right by Liverpool against Leeds and substituted after 66 minutes.
(Copyright: Daily Express, 02-09-1992, by Jim Holden and John Keith)