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FOOTBALL: Now Hughes is set for heroes welcome; STRIKERS MOVE FROM SKY BLUES GOES THROUGH.


WEST BROM have smashed their transfer record for the second time last night after Lee Hughes finally agreed to return to The Hawthorns from Coventry.

Hughes has rejoined the Baggies in a pounds 2.5million deal and has signed a four-year contract which will keep him at the Hawthorns until the summer of 2006.

This deal follows on from Tranmere midfielder Jason Koumas signing for the Barclaycard Premiership newcomers in a pounds 2.25million deal earlier in the day.

Hughes, like Koumas, will go into the Albion squad for tomorrow's home encounter with Fulham.

The sticking point had been Hughes' terms as he was understood to have almost doubled his wages when he made the switch to Highfield Road in a pounds 5million deal 12-months ago.

But those differences have now been resolved and Albion will be hoping he can score the goals that will help them to stay in the top flight.

The former Kidderminster Harriers player enjoyed a prolific first spell with the club and Albion manager Gary Megson had been reluctant to let Hughes leave his boyhood heroes 12-months ago.

But now he is back in the fold and can expect a hero's welcome from the fans when he runs out at the Hawthorns against the Cottagers.

Both the Koumas and Hughes deals have beaten the previous record of pounds 2.1million paid Bristol Rovers for striker Jason Roberts.

An Albion spokesman said: "We can confirm Lee Hughes has signed for West Bromwich Albion for pounds 2.5million on a four-year contract after agreeing terms."

ASTON VILLA striker Darius Vassell is putting dreams of playing for England on his home ground to one side as he aims to help Graham Taylor's side take a further climb up the Barclaycard Premiership table.

Vassell looks a certainty to play some part for his country in the friendly international with Portugal at Villa Park on September 7.

But the 23-year-old is more concerned at present at helping Villa build on their first Premiership victory of the season against Manchester City in Sunday's clash with Bolton at the Reebok stadium.

Vassell, who scored the winner against Kevin Keegan's side, said: "I want to be involved with England no matter where they play although it would be special to represent my country at Villa Park.

"But we have an important league game before then so I am more concerned about getting Villa's season up and running."


RECORD SIGNING: Lee Hughes who is back at West Brom
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Title Annotation:Sport
Publication:Coventry Evening Telegraph (England)
Date:Aug 30, 2002
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