Young snubs £9.65million move to West Ham

January 15, 2007

Watford have confirmed that Ashley Young rejected a proposed move to another Barclays Premiership club.

The Hornets revealed they accepted an undisclosed bid for their star forward over the weekend - believed to be an an offer worth up to £9.65million from West Ham.

Chairman Graham Simpson told the club's official website: 'We have stated many times over that we have no need or desire to sell Ashley Young, or any of our players for that matter.

'However, having given due consideration to all of the factors, I felt that this offer was right for the club.'

The Hammers had made no secret of their interest in Young, and saw a £7m bid for the England Under-21 international turned down last week.

But West Ham - whose revised offer was thought to have been £8m, with a possible £1.65m in add-ons - are now likely to have to turn their attention elsewhere because Young, 21, is understood to have snubbed the opportunity to discuss terms with the Upton Park club.

Aston Villa are still believed to be keen on Young, while Tottenham, whose interest has cooled recently, could also come back into the frame.

With Watford virtual certainties for relegation from the Barclays Premiership - Saturday's home defeat by Liverpool leaving them rooted to the bottom of the table 10 points adrift of safety - it appears they have finally decided to cash in on Young.

Manager Adrian Boothroyd has said repeatedly that his star player, who has scored four goals in 23 appearances this season, would leave only if he asked the 35-year-old boss to do so.

Earlier in the month, Spurs were prepared to offer defender Calum Davenport and winger Wayne Routledge as part of a deal to bring Young to White Hart Lane.

But those negotiations stalled because neither Davenport nor Routledge - currently on loan at Fulham - was keen to move to Watford.

Recently, Villa boss Martin O'Neill said: 'I am hoping we can bring in somebody but you are never sure until someone signs.

'There is no point in saying `we are doing this, this and this' if one thing doesn't materialise for one reason or another.

'But what we are trying to find is quality players who would find the challenge exciting - not just now but in the next couple of seasons.

'I don't want to be held to ransom but equally you don't cut off your nose to spite your face. We need some help and I don't mind (paying) a little bit over the odds for a player who is going to be a help to us.

'But I don't want to pay out extortionate prices if I can avoid it just because it is January.'

Boothroyd, meanwhile, has been resolute in his desire to fetch the best possible price for Young.

The Vicarage Road chief revealed last week that seven Premiership clubs had enquired about him - with West Ham, Spurs, Villa, Everton and Sheffield United all known to have expressed an interest.

Boothroyd said last week: 'There are players out there who have gone for £8m-plus who do not have what he has.

'Ashley is the trump card in the Premiership. There are not many players outside the top four clubs who are better than him.'