Everton favourites to capture Ferdinand

Click to follow
The Independent Online
Les Ferdinand's future will be decided in the next 24 hours, with three clubs in the race to sign him. The Newcastle United striker is likely to be told by his club, whose board meet tomorrow to sift through the offers from Everton, Tottenham and Sheffield Wednesday.

Everton's pounds 5.7m is the biggest on the table, with Wednesday surprise entrants to the race and Spurs' latest offer standing at pounds 5m. Newcastle will definitely sell at pounds 6m and Everton appear strong favourites to win the chase as they are willing to increase their offer.

Everton plan to speak to Internazionale's Swiss captain, Ciriaco Sforza, this week. Their pounds 3m offer has been accepted and now their manager, Howard Kendall, must try to persuade the midfielder to join them instead of the German side, Kaiserslautern.

The agent of Fabrizio Ravanelli, who turned Everton down last week, has added insult to injury with an attack on the club's chairman, Peter Johnson.

"We never once met Peter Johnson in negotiations," Pino Pagliari said. "Then when things go wrong the club try to put the blame on the player. That's what they want their fans to believe. We're sorry for the fans and Howard Kendall. We have no problem with him, but there are other people at the club who didn't take this move seriously."

Crystal Palace hope to celebrate their return to the Premiership by signing Attilio Lombardo from Juventus. The clubs have agreed a pounds 2m fee, and Palace hope to sort out personal terms with the Italian international today.

Aberdeen are to sign the transfer-listed Birmingham striker Mike Newell for pounds 175,000.

Manchester United beat the Hong Kong side South China 1-0 courtesy of a rare headed goal by Jordi Cruyff.

Athletic Bilbao have paid two billion pesetas [pounds 8.5m] for Real Betis's Spanish international defender Roberto Rios, the player United tried to buy last season. The transfer is the biggest ever involving a Spanish player.

Bolton's out-of-contract striker Mixu Paatelainen is having talks with Plymouth about a pounds 250,000 move.