Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

I'm Not Worth All That Money, Says [Pounds Sterling]17m Duff

Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

I'm Not Worth All That Money, Says [Pounds Sterling]17m Duff

Article excerpt


DAMIEN DUFF believes [pounds sterling]17 million is an absurd price to pay for any footballer - especially him.

The Blackburn winger, who is about to become Chelsea's record signing, says the fee represents "a ridiculous price on my head" and is amazed anyone agreed to pay it.

Duff had a release clause in his contract allowing him to move if a club bid [pounds sterling]17m, but he said: "It is a stupid price with the way the game has gone.

But at the end of the day, it is all about money with football directors."

Duff 's advisers are today thrashing out the details of his prospective move to Stamford Bridge, where he will become the most expensive purchase, so far, in Roman Abramovich's brief tenure as Chelsea owner.

His emerging talent contrasts with some of the more illustrious names linked with Chelsea of late. Although he shot to prominence with the Republic of Ireland in last summer's World Cup, he has had a fitful career at Blackburn since emerging as a nervous 19-year-old under Roy Hodgson.

Last season he was named the club's player of the year after scoring 11 goals as Graeme Souness's side secured a UEFA Cup place for finishing sixth in the Premiership.

Tagged the Republic of Ireland's George Best, he admits to suffering lapses in form. "I did go through the horrors for club and country for a while," he said. "I am a better player for the experience and for the fact Mick McCarthy and Graeme Souness stuck by me. But it was bad for a while."

So bad that his international manager at the time, McCarthy, said he "fell off the Richter scale". Duff admits to " losing confidence" but says he is "not as gung-ho" as he used to be.

At 24, he was Blackburn's longestserving player. Now he looks set to find a new stage for his talent and, clearly, the lure of Champions League football is drawing him to London. …

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