Bradford close to Newlove deal

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The Independent Online
The future of Paul Newlove could be decided today, with signs that a deal to take him from the Bradford Bulls is close to being completed.

Bradford have called a press conference to announce the signings of players, the day after St Helens appealed to local businesses to help them put together a cash plus players offer that would bring the Great Britain centre to Knowsley Road.

St Helens have already had one part-exchange deal rejected and Newlove, for whom Bradford have been asking a world record pounds 750,000, has pulled out of the Bulls' last two games. He turned down a move to Wigan two weeks ago and is thought to have set his heart on a move to St Helens.

Halifax have transfer-listed their winger, Mark Preston, at pounds 70,000 - a price which will stir interest among clubs nearer his Lancashire home. Preston lost his first-team place when he was injured earlier this season and is also reluctant to give up his job to become a full-time professional.

Both Castleford and Frano Botica have dampened speculation that the dual New Zealand international is about to make a return to rugby union with Moseley. John Joyner, the Castleford coach, has dismissed stories of a return as groundless rumour, while Botica says that he has merely been seen with an old friend who works for the Moseley club.

The former Wigan stand-off, rated as the best goalkicker in the game, has signed a two-year contract with Castleford, but has yet to play for them because of a broken leg sustained playing for the Auckland Warriors.

Oldham have transfer-listed their winger, Adrian Belle, at pounds 45,0000. Belle recently joined the police and has told his club he has no intention of turning full-time professional with the advent of the Super League.

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