EXCLUSIVE: O'Neill hopes for£3.5m Heskey Villa thumbs up today

23 January 2009 12:05
Way out: Emile Heskey is set to re-join former boss Martin O'Neill at Aston Villa As the Midlanders turn the screw on their rivals for a coveted Champions League place, Heskey is set to join fellow internationals Gabby Agbonlahor and Ashley Young in an attack that could feature for England at next year’s World Cup finals.It will be a major coup, both for Villa and O’Neill, as Wigan insiders believed the deal to Anfield was done and dusted. However, Heskey was the subject of an alleged internal battle with factions differing on whether the deal was to be completed in this transfer window — with the fee — or in the summer, when he would be out of contract and available on a free transfer.   More. Wigan begin the Hunt for Palacios replacement with£5m bid for Reading winger Colombian striker Rodallega has Wigan medical to close in on£4.5m move ASTON VILLA FC NEWS FROM ACROSS THE WEB WIGAN ATHLETIC FC NEWS FROM ACROSS THE WEB National service: Heskey's England hopes should improve under the watch of O'Neill at high-flying Villa O’Neill moved quickly after cracks began to appear, seizing his chance to emerge victorious from a battle with Anfield counterpart Rafael Benitez for a second time this season after the Spaniard’s failed attempted to lure Gareth Barry from Villa Park. Heskey, 31 this month, became a warrior target-man under Villa’s boss when they were first together more than a decade ago at Leicester. Heskey was sold, ironically to Liverpool, in 2000 for£11m. Close ties remain between the pair and there can be little doubt the O’Neill factor was a big factor in Heskey’s decision. Steve Bruce was a reluctant seller but realised, with just five months remaining on Heskey’s contract, the money was too good to refuse. It has all but given Wigan their cash back on a player signed from Birmingham three years ago, and Bruce was last night stepping up his own efforts to bolster his strike-force after allowing Marlon King a switch to Middlesbrough. Bruce has cash burning a hole in his pocket after the£14m sale of Wilson Palacios to Tottenham and he will have collected around£21.5m with King and Heskey also leaving.   More. Wigan begin the Hunt for Palacios replacement with£5m bid for Reading winger Colombian striker Rodallega has Wigan medical to close in on£4.5m move ASTON VILLA FC NEWS FROM ACROSS THE WEB WIGAN ATHLETIC FC NEWS FROM ACROSS THE WEB  

Source: Daily_Mail