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Boateng Interest Hots Up

George Boateng, Coventry City FCThe race to sign Coventry City star George Boateng looks set to hot up early in the close season with Liverpool and Aston Villa both showing strong interest in the Dutch ace.

The 23-year-old midfielder was clearly unsettled towards the end of last season when rumours surfaced that Villa manager John Gregory was poised to make a bid for him.

That incident is still rumbling on because City chairman Bryan Richardson was so annoyed by the way the Villa Park side handled the situation that he reported them to the FA for making an illegal approach – a matter that is still under investigation.

Boateng has made a huge impact in the Premiership since joining the Sky Blues 18 months ago, and the club are clearly keen to keep Boateng although Richardson admits this could be difficult.

He said:

"We don’t want to sell any player from this club but it can be difficult if someone becomes unsettled.

"I dare say that Villa would still like to sign him but the rival competition is now very serious and if anyone was to make an offer they would have to start at 5 million."

That kind of figure would represent fantastic business for City who signed the player for just 230,000 from Feyenoord, and Boateng himself has always suggested that his ambition was to move to a bigger club.

The decision to part with Boateng may be made easier for manager Gordon Strachan by this week’s acquisition of Moroccan central midfielder Youssef Chippo from FC Porto for 1 million.

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Coventry City have added another date to their pre-season campaign. The Sky Blues will take on neighbours Birmingham City at St Andrews on 24 July - kick-off at 3pm.

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This page modified on 10 November 2008 09:49:15AM