YEPES MAY BE OFFERED TO VILLA
By Adam Marshall. Last Updated: January 1, 1970 1:00am
ASTON VILLA are believed to have been offered the possibility of making it a double swoop on River Plate, with defender Mario Yepes available for transfer.
With John Gregory breaking the Midlands club`s transfer record to sign £9.5 million man Juan Pablo Angel, cash-strapped River are investigating the option to sell his fellow Colombian to Villa Park as well.
Certainly, a friendly face might help Angel to settle in - and Villa have already tried to sign another Colombian, Mauricio Serna, but that bid, although lucrative for the 32-year-old and Boca Juniors, looks as though it may fail.
Yepes, however, would not merely be a secondary signing aimed mainly at being beneficial for Angel, as he is a quality performer with numerous admirers.
Both Parma and Internazionale lined up moves for the 24-year-old in 2000, and he would not come cheaply.
Gustavo Mascardi is agent to both players, and his representative Fernando Hidalgo is due in England this week to put the finishing touches to Angel`s switch to Villa Park.
Whether Gregory will be interested in signing the stopper as well is another matter, and the speculation in South America is rather frenzied at the moment, due to the transfer windows opening in Italy, France and Spain, but it is an option open to the Villa manager, if more funds are made available.