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Monday, February 22, 1999 Published at 08:30 GMT

Gregory admits Stubbs interest

Alan Stubbs is set to return to English football

Aston Villa manager, John Gregory, has admitted he is interested in signing Celtic defender Alan Stubbs.

Gregory made the comments after watching Villa end their run of defeats with a 0-0 draw at Wimbledon at Selhurst Park on Sunday.

Early season pace setters, Villa have faltered since the turn of the year and their boss is eager to boost his squad before next month's transfer deadline.

Asked about the Bhoys centre-half, Gregory said: "There is interest in the player.

"We've been trying to get three or four people over the last few weeks but have not had luck getting the ones we want."

Former Bolton defender Stubbs moved to Scotland in 1996 for 3.5m but is reported to want to return to English football even though the Glasgow giants may want to make a profit on the 27-year-old.

England ambitions

Stubbs has already admitted he is hoping to make an English comeback, saying the transfer owes much to his wife Mandy's inability to settle in Scotland and his own ambition to break into the England set-up.

"If she is not happy, then I am not happy," he said.

"If someone came in and it was close to home then my wife would say let's go for it.

"I feel that moving to a Premiership club in England would help with the international team."

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