MAY 01] COVENTRY CITY NEWS
Coventry City have slapped a £15
million price tag on John Hartson in a desperate attempt to keep
the wolves from door.
The Sky Blues, relegated after 34
years in the top flight, thought they had sewn up their key
personnel to make the big push for promotion from Division One
But already the big clubs are
circling around Hartson, who scored 8 goals in 9 matches for
club and country when Coventry signed him on a pay-as-you-play
deal from Wimbledon.
If Coventry had signed him
earlier, his goals could have kept them in the lucrative Premier
League, but now Leicester City, Middlesbrough and Celtic have
targeted the Welshman.
Coventry’s chairman Bryan
“We have had initial
inquiries from a number of clubs and we have told them all to
“We see him as a key figure
to get us back to the Premiership so any club would have to
guarantee us promotion – in other words around £15 million.
That’s the situation in a nutshell.”
But after pledging he would stay
at Coventry, Hartson said:
“They have been good to me,
but I am under the impression I could negotiate with a bigger
club providing Coventry were kept informed.”
The player is currently on duty
with Wales for the World Cup qualifying matches against Poland
and Ukraine, when his performances will be closely monitored by
Coventry, meanwhile have been
linked with Newcastle United’s international trio of Kevin
Gallacher, Rob Lee and Stephen Glass.
Gallacher won the first of his 50
Scotland caps in his two years as a Coventry player, before he
left for Blackburn Rovers and then Newcastle.
Lee, like Gallacher, aged 35 and
in the later stages of his career, holds 21 England caps in
midfield, while Glass, ten years their junior, has played once
for Scotland at senior level.
Stephen McPhee, the young
Scottish winger for whom great things were expected at Coventry,
is now believed to be on the move to Hearts or Port Vale.
The winger, who was signed from
the Dutch club Arnhem, could not break into Coventry’s first
team squad and he was loaned to St Mirren for two months last
season, where he attracted attention after being named Scotland
Young Player of the Month.