U's willing to match new transfer record

WALSALL defender Daniel Fox will equal Colchester United's club record transfer fee if he decides to rubber-stamp a move to Layer Road.The two clubs have agreed an undisclosed fee for the 21-year-old, believed to be in the region of £350,000.

Carl Marston

WALSALL defender Daniel Fox will equal Colchester United's club record transfer fee if he decides to rubber-stamp a move to Layer Road.

The two clubs have agreed an undisclosed fee for the 21-year-old, believed to be in the region of £350,000. That would match the club record set only last Thursday, with Chris Coyne's move from Luton Town.

But there is still the stumbling block of the player agreeing personal terms with the U's. Fox recently turned down the offer of a new contract at Walsall, while the Midlanders also recently dismissed an offer from Leeds United for the left-sided specialist, reported to be £300,000.


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U's boss Geraint Williams said last night: “It is now all about discussions with the agent, to see if personal terms can be agreed. There's no telling how long that might take.

“Sometimes they are sorted out very quickly, but other times they take a lot longer.

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“Daniel Fox is a player of quality on the ball, and at the age of 21 we consider him to be a promising player for the future. He's a good athlete.”

Former Everton trainee Fox has played a total of 118 league and cup games for Walsall, since his move from Goodison Park during the summer of 2005.

He never actually made an appearance for the Toffees, although he was an unused substitute in a home match against Aston Villa in October, 2004.

His stay at the Bescot Stadium has been a huge success. The Saddlers do not want him to go, a sentiment that was echoed by boss Richard Money earlier this month, after Fox had turned down a new deal - his current contract expires at the end of this season.

“We think we've made him a good offer, but obviously he's hearing there's a bit of interest. We definitely want him to stay,” insisted Money.

If Fox does agree personal terms with the U's, then he will become the Essex club's third new signing in under a week, following the arrival of fellow defenders Coyne and Phil Ifil (from Tottenham). The fee for right-back Ifil could eventually rise above that of Coyne, and Fox, depending on appearances.

A leaky defence has been Colchester's Achilles heel this season. But having recruited a new centre-half in Coyne, and a new right-back in Ifil, the U's could now be on the verge of securing a new left-back as well. Fox can also operate as a left-midfielder.

Meanwhile, U's keeper Dean Gerken is hoping to be fit for Saturday's home match against Hull City, despite being hospitalised by a head injury, sustained during the closing stages of last weekend's 1-1 draw at Bristol City.

Williams revealed: “By the time that the team coach arrived at the hospital, Dean (Gerken) had already been discharged.

“He was given some paracetamol for his headache and has been told to rest, which is what he's been doing. He took a boot in the face from their striker, while punching out a cross, but we are hopeful that he will be fit for the weekend.”

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