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John Hills, a 17-year-old Blackpool youth team player, has been signed by Everton for pounds 90,000, rising to pounds 500,00 depending on appearances.

The veteran defender, Steve Foster, will be out of action for two months after entering hospital for a cartilage operation. The 38-year-old Brighton captain injured his right knee during the 3-1 home defeat by Swindon a fortnight ago.

Kenny Brown, the West Ham defender, has joined his former Hammers team- mate, Jimmy Quinn, the joint-manager of Reading, at Elm Park on a month's loan. The 28-year-old right-back has just returned from a loan spell at Huddersfield.