Villa snap up cut-price Allback

Aston Villa today completed the signing of striker Marcus Allback from Dutch side Heerenveen.

Aston Villa today completed the signing of striker Marcus Allback from Dutch side Heerenveen.

The 28-year-old signed a three-year contract on a flying visit to Birmingham before jetting out to Japan to join up with Sweden’s World Cup squad.

Allback, who was also a target for Villa’s Premiership rivals Sunderland, will cost just over £2m (€3m) thanks to an unusual clause in his contract.

The knock-down price only applied for a one-month spell this summer, starting from May 15, and Villa boss Graham Taylor acted quickly to capture the Sweden international.

‘‘I have been watching him for a long time and have got the added bonus that Stuart Gray (Villa first team coach) tried to sign him when he was manager at Southampton but was quoted £4m (€6m), but when I found out about the clause I acted as soon as possible,’’ the former England boss said.

Allback was delighted to with the deal and told Swedish daily newspaper Expressen earlier today: ‘‘When I put pen to paper a dream will come true. I have listened to Olof Mellberg and he has told me that Aston Villa is the right club for me.

‘‘This spring has been marvellous. First I was a father to lovely Philippa, then I get the ticket to the World Cup and now I will be a professional in a Premier League club.’’

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