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[the Goodison Gazette]

Season 2001-2002

Prodan looking to Blue future
20 July, 2001

Daniel Prodan looks set to become Everton's third signing of the season (and the club's second defender on a free transfer following the arrival of Alan Stubbs from Celtic) after a successful trial during the Blues' pre-season training camp in Il Ciocco, Italy.

Prodan, who famously failed to play a game in 18 months for Rangers following a crippling knee injury, initially rejected the offer of a week's trial at Bellefield from Walter Smith last month, but obviously found the lure of a week in Tuscany was enough to persuade him to accept the opportunity to resurrect his career in a major European league.

Now the Romanian international captain, whose has regained fitness following a season of action for Rocur Bucharest in his home country, is making all the right noises about the prospect of playing for Everton this season:

"My injury now is okay. I feel very good, very well," he said. "I have played many games since then and I am training very hard. I am confident in my ability, confident in my chances of signing for Everton and confident of my chances of playing in their first team."

Prodan, who failed to sufficently impress Aston Villa boss John Gregory to earn a move to Villa Park before the transfer deadline last season, continued: "Everton are a big club in England with some good players; Gazza, Campbell and from last year, Richard Gough. They are not a big club in Premiership placings at present, but they are a big club in spirit. They work very hard in training and that will show in games."

If all goes well, the central defender could be an Everton player by the end of the coming week, with Walter Smith apparently keen to tie up the transfer when the squad returns to England this weekend.

by Lyndon Lloyd


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