Liverpool took their spending to more than 7 million pounds in just 24 hours when they completed the signing of Wimbledon defender John Scales. The 28-year-old Scales signed a five-year contract with the Anfield club after they had agreed an undisclosed fee, understood to be around 3.5 million pounds, with the London side.
Manager Roy Evans' capture of Scales followed swiftly on the heels of the 3.6 million pound signing of Coventry's Phil Babb, but Evans revealed that the deal had actually been agreed three weeks ago. "Wimbledon wanted to try to replace John before he arrived here and I'd like to thank Joe Kinnear and Sam Hammam for their honourable behaviour," said the Liverpool manager.
He pointed out that chairman David Moores had made 10 million pounds available for rebuilding and indicated that there was no question over the future of Neil Ruddock, called up yesterday be England coach Terry Venables for next week's friendly against the United States. "I wouldn't have ended up with three centre-backs if I didn't want three," said Evans, who revealed that the Anfield club had been tracking Scales for more than a year. "John is big, strong and a great athlete. He's been the steadiest defender in the League for a long time and he'll be a great asset to us."
Scales, freed by home-town club Leeds nine years ago and bought by Wimbledon for only 70,000 pounds from Bristol Rovers in 1987, described himself as very excited by the chance to join Liverpool. He said: "It's a fantastic move, but it's a relief in a lot of ways to finally sign the contract." "This is a fabulous opportunity. Liverpool are one of the world's greatest clubs and coming here can only enhance my career."