Ex-Villa star: Tom ‘binned money’

By Phil Jennings

FORMER Villa striker Dean Saunders has backed Tom Heaton’s move to the Midlands – because he once tried to sign the England keeper.

Heaton is heading to Villa after they agreed an £8million deal – and finally bring Dean Smith’s keeper search to an end.

He is expected to complete the switch by the end of the week and Saunders says Villa have done good business for the 33-year-old.

Smith tried to get Heaton in last January with Orjan Nyland short on form – but it was Lovre Kalinic who was the keeper who seemed to fit the bill last winter.

But the Croatian did not impress and will be allowed to leave in this window assuming Villa can find a £3million buyer.

Saunders told the Alan Brazil Sports Breakfast on Talksport: “He was offered double the wages to go to Bristol City in 2012 and he was that far away from signing for me at Doncaster instead because he wanted to play. He was going to bin the money to come and play.

“He’s a good goalkeeper. He gets the basics right, he’s a good pro. He trains property, he has a real good attitude.”

Heaton will be the 12th player to sign for Villa in a frantic transfer window since Smith’s side won promotion back to the Premier League. And there could be at least one more player coming in as Smith still wants another striker – with Brentford’s Neal Maupay high on his wanted list.

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