Blackburn still keen on Stubbs

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Football

CLIVE WHITE

Blackburn Rovers indicated last night that they were willing to revive their interest in Alan Stubbs, the Bolton central defender. "I have a hit list of potential targets, but at the moment none of them are available," Ray Harford, the Rovers manager, said. "The Stubbs deal is not dead yet."

Blackburn made an offer earlier in the week of pounds 9m for both Stubbs and his former team-mate, Jason McAteer, but withdrew it when the latter opted to join Liverpool instead. "It's all to do with negotiations and I feel desperately sorry for the boy," Harford said.

Stubbs has, for the first time, shown a willingness to move to London, where Bolton's former manager, Bruce Rioch, is now in charge of Arsenal. Stubbs, who has not been selected for today's home game with Middlesbrough, said: "I don't mind where I go as long as I go somewhere. No disrespect to Bolton, but I need to move for my England chances. I would not mind coming south if it was Arsenal."

Rioch said: "Alan is still in my mind. Bolton are aware of our interest in him." Bolton moved closer to resolving the saga by making a move for Reading's Welsh international, Adrian Williams, yesterday. Negotiations have opened at around pounds 750,000 for the defender, who could fill Stubbs' boots.

No sooner had speculation that the Charlton defender, Richard Rufus, was on his way to Tottenham been quashed than it was replaced by the rather more exciting rumour that the struggling Premiership side were preparing to mount a bid for the Belgian international Enzo Scifo, of Monaco.

Leeds United have had to shelve their interest in Faustino Asprilla, the Colombian striker, after learning that his club, Parma, would not be selling any of their players.

The Association is to hold an inquiry into alleged damage to a hotel room occupied by the Queen's Park Rangers players, Kevin Gallen and Trevor Sinclair, during the England Under-21 side's trip to Portugal last weekend. "We're getting the blame for something we didn't do. We're gutted," Gallen said last night.

Keegan's ambition, page 26

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