HUGHES CLOSE TO CITY MOVE
By Adam Marshall. Last Updated: January 1, 1970 1:00am
COVENTRY CITY are close to completing the signing of West Brom goal machine Lee Hughes in a deal worth in excess of £5 million.
Gordon Strachan moved for the former Kidderminster forward after selling John Hartson to Celtic, and the Sky Blues boss will be delighted if he can snap up his first choice replacement for the big Welshman.
West Brom face a real dilemma over Hughes, who is out of contract at The Hawthorns at the end of next season, as the player is a fan of the club but aware of the need to play Premiership football to further his ambitions.
The Baggies fear losing the 25-year-old for nothing under the Bosman Ruling so the transfer does make economic sense to the First Division side, even though Gary Megson and the Albion supporters will be extremely disappointed by the proposed sale to a promotion rival.
West Brom have also revealed that the bid is only £1 above the £5 million clause stipulated in his contract, which allows the striker the opportunity to talk to the bidding club.
With Youssef Safri and Keith O'Neill putting pen-to-paper at Highfield Road, Strachan has been particularly active in the transfer market this week and has shown his determination in getting City back into the top flight at the first attempt.
It will be a massive wrench for Hughes to leave West Brom but he will be hoping to be a success in a sky blue shirt next season, providing he agrees personal terms with the club and passes a routine medical.
No problems are foreseen and Coventry are confident of unveiling all three new faces at a press conference before the big Nationwide League kick-off.
Safri is awaiting international clearance while O'Neill is having the final stages of his medical.