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Rovers give Villa permission to talk to Friedel

SoccerNews in English Premier League 25 Jul 2008

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Blackburn have given Aston Villa permission to speak to American goalkeeper Brad Friedel about a move to Martin O'Neill's club.

O'Neill wants to sign Friedel after opting against a move for Tottenham stopper Paul Robinson and has been given the green light to start contract talks with the veteran.

“We've been given permission to talk to the player and that's something that we want to do. But there are still lots of things to happen,” O'Neill told Villa's website.

“We're in the process of strengthening the squad and this is all part of our efforts to add strength in depth.”

Blackburn's decision to allow Villa to talk to Friedel, who would cost Villa around two million pounds (2.5 million euros), is a clear indication that they are close to signing Robinson as a replacement.

Tottenham are believed to have accepted Rovers' offer of around 3.5 million pounds (4.4 million euros) for Robinson and Blackburn chairman John Williams admitted the 28-year-old was a firm target.

“We have made good progress with our bid, but there are still some details to sort out,” he told the Lancashire Telegraph.

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