Crouch could have been a Claret - AGAIN

Last updated : 29 March 2002 By Tony Scholes

Crouch had talks with the Clarets last summer as we tried to sign him from Queens Park Rangers, the fee was thought to be around £1.5 million. It did look as though we had got him at one point and chairman Barry Kilby announced that the club's transfer record was set to go.

He spoke to David Moyes at Preston (no surprise there) but decided to sign for the third option, and very much the third best option, and join Graham Rix at Portsmouth. At the time he said he thought Portsmouth were the most ambitious and that's why he chose them.

The move for Crouch was widely known but what isn't so is the fact that we have been trying to buy him from Portsmouth. I did get a whisper back in January that we had made another bid but whether we did at that time or not is uncertain but we have made a bid for him in the last month.

During March the Clarets offered £2.5 million to Portsmouth for Crouch and guess what, so did David Moyes at Preston. Portsmouth turned down what in the end became our final offer, this week they accepted a bid of £5 million from Aston Villa and he moved on after less than a season on the south coast.

Graham Taylor has always been quick to praise Crouch and said that he couldn't wait until the end of the season because other clubs were chasing him. He confirmed that Portsmouth had already turned down the £2.5 million bid from the Clarets.

We have since signed David Johnson on loan from Nottingham Forest although it would be very difficult to suggest that the two players are similar.