Villa set for another Holland move?

ASTON Villa boss Graham Taylor is looking to clear the decks which could pave the way for a renewed bid to capture Ipswich Town skipper Matt Holland.Taylor tried to sign Holland last summer but the Republic of Ireland international turned down the £4m move.

ASTON Villa boss Graham Taylor is looking to clear the decks which could pave the way for a renewed bid to capture Ipswich Town skipper Matt Holland.

Taylor tried to sign Holland last summer but the Republic of Ireland international turned down the £4m move.

Sources at Villa Park have confirmed the former England boss has never lost his desire to secure the Blues skipper.

If he gets his way and can cut his wage bill by up to £12m, Taylor will make another offer to the Town board.

I understand Taylor wants to build a new team at Villa Park around Holland, much as George Burley did when he signed the midfielder from Bournemouth for a bargain £800,000.

Taylor is hoping chairman Doug Ellis will allow a of number of big-earners to leave on either free or next to nothing transfer fees.

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It would amount to a significant loss in fees but with the market so depressed the Villa board will look to morph its player values anyway.

Taylor has clashed with Alpay, bought for £5.6m, and £9.5m club record signing Juan Pablo Angel, who have both made it clear they want to go.

And he is looking to offload Hassan Kachloul, who Ipswich came close to signing. The Morrocan is believed to be on £42,000 a week after signing for John Gregory from Southampton in a £6m move.

Former Colchester United favourite Mark Kinsella is also on the hit-list after just a year at Villa Park following his move from Charlton. Bosko Balaban, Moustapha Hadji, Ulises de Cruz and Alan Wright would also be moved on to make way for some youngsters Taylor wants to bring through and experienced players like Holland.

Former favourite Lee Hendrie was booed on Saturday while Joey Gudjonsen is unlikely to be retained after a loan spell from Real Betis.

The Villa board met yesterday with Taylor making veiled threats that he would leave if he did not get his way. No offer will be made to the Town board until after Sunday's final game of the Premiership season and even then they may wait until the summer clearout.

But Villa may face competition from Everton and Charlton for the signature of Holland, who has said he is undecided about his future. He still has three years left on his contract with Ipswich which he has maintained he would like to honour, but he is also well aware of the club's financial situation and they would have to accept a reasonable offer for him. And, at 29, he is looking for a swift return to the Premiership.

Meanwhile, Alun Armstrong's agent is in talks with Coventry City and Leicester City regarding the striker's future.

The EADT revealed yesterday that Coventry were keen on Armstrong after seeing him play against their reserves last week and Gary McAllister spoke to Joe Royle at half-time about the player.

And Colchester United boss Phil Parkinson has confirmed he will not be looking to sign Mark Venus for next season. Venus was told last Friday his contract at Portman Road would not be renewed.

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