Dumitrescu put on standby

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The Independent Online
Ilie Dumitrescu, the Romanian international seeking a transfer from Tottenham Hotspur, could be in their squad for the Christmas night journey to Norwich prior to the Boxing Day Premiership game at Carrow Road.

Gerry Francis, the Spurs manager, said: "Ilie has had a knee problem from the match he played for his country a couple of weeks ago but, if he is fit, he will be going with us."

Francis plans to take 18 players to East Anglia, but he will allow Justin Edinburgh to take time off if he wants to, following his wife's recent miscarriage. Jurgen Klinsmann is set to replace Ronny Rosenthal.

Newcastle's former England midfielder, Paul Bracewell, is ready to start his first Premiership game of the season at Leeds on Boxing Day. Bracewell, who has had five groin operations this year, has been on the bench for Newcastle's last two games. The England central defender, Steve Howey, will also be back, as could the midfielder, Robert Lee.

Aston Villa's new signing, Ian Taylor, will make his debut in central midfield at Arsenal on Monday. Villa's failure to deliver goals from the centre of the park is a problem Brian Little, their manager, hopes Taylor, who scored 35 in two seasons with Port Vale, will solve.

Coventry's £2m striker Dion Dublin, who has an abdominal strain, will learn tomorrow whether he plays against Nottingham Forest at Highfield Road the following day.

The Chelsea manager, Glenn Hoddle, is waiting for injuries to Dennis Wise, Frank Sinclair and Jakob Kjeldbjerg to clear up for the home game against Manchester United.

West Ham's Don Hutchison, John Moncur and Martin Allen are still recovering from injuries, so Harry Redknapp is likely to retain the side which beat Manchester City 3-0 last week for the visit of Ipswich.

Joe Kinnear, the Wimbledon manager, has included three goalkeepers - Hans Segers, Neil Sullivan and Brendan Murphy - in his 20-man squad for the trip to Southampton.

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