Nigel Clough put his pocket where his mouth is yesterday when he agreed to take a drop in earnings in pursuit of first-team football. He completed a move to Manchester City for around pounds 1m, but will not be receiving the salary he enjoyed at Liverpool.
"He has taken a sensible decision," Alan Ball said, "and that impressed me. It shows me he is determined to pick up his career. I know him from my time working with the England squad under Graham Taylor. He is a very fine footballer and a likeable personality, too.
"Nothing moves faster on a football field than the brain and he has a very, very good mind," City's manager added. "I also want someone who can operate on the same wavelength as Georgi Kinkladze and I couldn't have anyone better."
While Clough was moving into Maine Road, Tony Coton was going out, joining Manchester United for pounds 500,000. "I'm going to be No 2 to the best goalkeeper in the world, Peter Schmeichel," he said after five and a half years with City.
"A call from a club like United doesn't come around too often so when it does you have to interested. The club has an aura, I wouldn't go to be No 2 anywhere else. To be at the right end of the table for the first time will be fantastic."
City are also still in the market for a left-back. "We have to tighten up there," Ball said. "We are working on getting another quality signing and have one or two irons in the fire." Last week he agreed a pounds 750,000 fee for the Southend United captain, Chris Powell, and, although the deal collapsed due to a disagreement over the terms of payment, it could be resurrected. However, the Danish international midfielder, Ronnie Ekelund, is returning to Barcelona after a loan spell at Maine Road.
The former England winger, Andy Sinton, yesterday returned to London by signing for Tottenham Hotspur for pounds 1.5m from Sheffield Wednesday. The 29-year-old rejoins Gerry Francis - his former manager at Queen's Park Rangers - on a three-and-a-half-year deal, but has not been registered in time to play in tomorrow's match at Aston Villa.
Arsenal's manager Bruce Rioch is understood to have renewed his interest in the West Ham midfield player John Moncur, and a deal worth pounds 1.5m may go through in the next seven days. Bayern Munich's French international striker Jean-Pierre Papin may also be on the move next week. German sources suggested last night that he could be joining Newcastle on loan.
Marc Hottiger, the Swiss international right-back, has completed his pounds 700,000 move from Newcastle United to Everton. The 28-year-old Hottiger, who had to drop his wage demands to secure his move to Goodison, said: "It's five months since I've played in the first team at Newcastle and I was worried that I would not be picked for Switzerland." His first- team debut for Joe Royle's side will have to wait, however - Everton have to reapply for a work permit.
Bobby Gould, the manager of Wales, has had to change a third of his squad for Wednesday's friendly against Italy in Terni. Having lost Mark Pembridge earlier in the week, Dean Saunders has also been ruled out by injury while Ryan Giggs, Mark Bowen and Andy Melville are required by their clubs.
Arsenal's John Hartson, Wolves' Eric Young, Sheffield United's Glyn Hodges, Paul Mardon (West Bromwich) and two uncapped strikers - Burnley's Kurt Nogan and Bristol Rovers' Marcus Browning - have all been called up. Gould has also dispensed with the services of his Under-21 management team, Brian Flynn and Joey Jones.