Flitcroft plans to catch peers

From Blackburn to England is how Garry Flitcroft mapped out his future yesterday, when he completed a pounds 3.5m transfer from Manchester City.

The 23-year-old Flitcroft, whose move ended an 11-year association with City, said: "I have watched some of the players I played with in the Under- 21s go on to the full squad and perhaps I have sat back a bit. This is my chance to catch up."

Ray Harford described his latest signing as "a complete midfield player" but not necessarily a straight replacement for David Batty, who was sold to Newcastle United for pounds 3.75.

Tottenham and Scotland will be without the services of Colin Calderwood for a minimum of three weeks while the central defender recovers from a knee ligament injury.

With less than a week to go to the transfer deadline, Leicester were busy clearing the decks for new arrivals. Jimmy Willis, a defender, is to join Burnley for pounds 125,000; the winger Lee Philpott agreed a pounds 100,000 move to Blackpool; and the striker David Lowe may re-join Wigan for pounds 125,000.

Birmingham City were rebuffed by Martin O'Connor yesterday after agreeing to pay Walsall pounds 500,000 for the midfielder. Barry Fry did, however, offload three players, with midfielder Ian Richardson joining Notts County for pounds 150,000, the former Everton midfielder Mark Ward going to Huddersfield Town on a free transfer, and Manchester City making Scott Hiley's loan move permanent for pounds 200,000.

Norwich City have dismissed as speculation rumours that the Italian outfit, Genoa, are about to buy out chairman Robert Chase's stake in the Carrow Road club.

EUROPEAN CUP Semi-finals: Ajax v Panathinaikos; Juventus v Nantes (First leg 3 April, second leg 17 April. Final in Rome 22 May)

EUROPEAN CUP-WINNERS' CUP Semi-final: Deportivo La Coruna v Paris St Germain; Feyenoord v Rapid Vienna. (First leg 4 April, second leg 18 April. Final in Brussels 8 May).

UEFA CUP Semi-finals: Slavia Prague v Bordeaux; Bayern Munich v Barcelona. (First leg 2 April, second leg 16 April. Winner of second semi at home in first leg of two-legged final on 1 May, second leg 15 May).

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