Scott Dann has risen from Walsall trainee to one of the most sort after defenders in Midlands football.
The 22-year-old Liverpudlian is at the centre of a tug of war between Premiership new boys Birmingham City and Wolverhampton Wanderers after Coventry City accepted bids yesterday of £3.5 million from both of the Midlands neighbours.
Dann, who has been capped twice by England at under-21 level since leaving Walsall for the Sky Blues eighteen months ago, is now in talks with both clubs and must decide between the old gold or royal blue. It is an interesting decision for him to have to make.
It is believed Dann favours a move to Molineux. Wolves boss Mick McCarthy has built a young and exciting squad that clinched the Championship title and Dann may feel Wanderers provide a better long term future than Blues, who also achieved automatic promotion to the Premier League but did so with ageing, experienced players, which Alex McLeish is in the midst of rebuilding.
Wolves chairman Steve Morgan has promised to provide the required investment to make sure McCarthy has a fighting chance of strengthening his squad with the required experience to go with his talented young players.
Dann will also be very familiar with two of Wolves’ hottest young prospects, Sylvan Ebanks-Blake and Michael Kightly, from England under-21 camps.
On the other hand, Blues have scrapped their way out of the Championship but McLeish’s squad certainly has more Premiership know-how than Wolves. With Lee Carsley and possibly Lee Bowyer in midfield, the Blues engine room is full of experience, and after splashing out a club record fee for Ecuador striker Christian Benitez, the Blues board has shown it is willing to invest to avoid a repeat of their one-season stay last time they were promoted.
Both sides are looking to bolster their rear-guard, but Blues’ need is greater after Radhi Jaidi was released and Liam Ridgewell broke his leg at the tail end of last season. That just leaves just Martin Taylor and the imminent arrival of Ecuador international Giovanny Espinoza from Barcelona Sporting as McLeish’s only recognised centre backs.
Blues also face a fight to complete the signing of American international defender Oguchi Onyewu after Fulham emerged as suitors for the 27-year-old defender after his agent announced that nothing could be signed until the ex- Newcastle defender returned from the Confederations Cup in South Africa.