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Albion in two-way race for Vaughan

Sport | Published:

Albion are locked in a two-way fight with Sunderland for Blackpool midfielder David Vaughan after he turned down a new deal at Bloomfield Road.

Albion are locked in a two-way fight with Sunderland for Blackpool midfielder David Vaughan after he turned down a new deal at Bloomfield Road.

The 28-year-old told the Seasiders late yesterday that he will leave Bloomfield Road, leaving the Baggies and Sunderland fighting for his signature.

Several Premier League clubs and a host of Championship sides, including Birmingham, have made contact with Vaughan to pitch for his services, following an impressive Premier League season for the Tangerines.

But the Express & Star understands the race is likely to come down to a straight head-to-head between Albion and Sunderland, who are both keen to add the Wales international to their ranks.

As revealed last week, Albion's location could prove a key factor in Vaughan's decision as he and his family are settled in Cheshire, within easy striking distance of his family in North Wales.

But the Black Cats have also pulled out all the stops to impress the playmaker and the Wearside club also boast greater financial clout, thanks to their established Premier League status and wealthy Irish backers.

Blackpool had hoped to entice Vaughan to stay with a long-term contract but the lure of remaining in the Premier League has proved too strong and he informed Blackpool officials yesterday of his decision.

And the Baggies are still waiting for further news on their pursuit of Zoltan Gera, who they hope to bring back to the Hawthorns for a second spell.

Albion had been favourites to sign the 32-year-old free agent after he fell down the pecking order at Fulham under the management of Mark Hughes.

But the appointment of Martin Jol as Hughes's successor has opened up the possibility of a surprise new contract.

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