Football: City offered pounds 7m for Kinkladze by Everton

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The Independent Online
Despite tabling a firm bid for Georgi Kinkladze, Everton may have jumped the gun with their offer for the Georgian midfielder, as Andy Hinchcliffe's proposed move to Tottenham Hotspur to finance the deal is now in doubt. Alan Nixon reports.

Everton made a pounds 7m offer for Manchester City's Georgi Kinkladze last night. Howard Kendall, the Everton manager, contacted City to make an official bid for the Georgian midfielder and the Maine Road club have arranged an emergency board meeting on Friday to give them an answer.

Francis Lee, the City chairman, was told of the bid while on holiday in Barbados, although the final decision has to be taken by the full board.

Everton were confident their offer would be too good for City to refuse, and Kinkladze himself is now also believed to be keen on a move to Goodison despite a lack of interest in an earlier bid. However, Everton's bid depended on the sale of Andy Hinchcliffe to Tottenham Hotspur, a move which looked in danger of collapse last night.

The defender arrived at White Hart Lane for talks yesterday, but returned to Merseyside without signing after he was told the offer from Spurs did not include a signing-on fee and only a basic salary.

Spurs claim they do not need to pay Hinchcliffe a sweetener to join them as he has already had a pounds 500,000 pay-off from Everton, but Hinchcliffe says that he got his "loyalty bonus" from Everton because he did not ask for a move and was entitled to a separate signing-on payment from Spurs.

The sale of Speed - should it go ahead - will bring Everton around pounds 6m, with Sheffield Wednesday, Newcastle and possibly Tottenham still in the bidding. He will be allowed to speak to Wednesday if they confirm a new offer today.

Tottenham are continuing their spending spree with or without Hinchcliffe, and plan to fly in midfielder Moussa Saib to complete a pounds 3m move tomorrow. Christian Gross, the Spurs coach, and the club's new director of football, David Pleat, have secured a deal with Spanish side Valencia for Saib, who will add some much needed strength and quality to the Spurs midfield.

Saib only moved to Spain this season from Auxerre, where he made his name, but he has been told he can leave. The French-Algerian does not need a work permit and could go straight into the Tottenham team for the Manchester United game on Saturday if he agrees terms in time.

While playing in France, Saib had been looked at by the United manager, Alex Ferguson, and Gross first spotted the player when his old club Grasshoppers came up against him in the Champions' League.

The referee's report from last Friday's Old Firm game has made no mention of Paul Gascoigne's controversial flute-playing gesture. Hugh Dallas' report arrived at the Scottish Football Association yesterday morning and only contained details of players cautioned during the game.

However, the England and Rangers midfielder is unlikely to escape punishment for the incident while he warmed up as substitute against Celtic.

Drew Herbertson, the SFA disciplinary chief, yesterday insisted the matter was far from closed and said Gascoigne may yet face action from the governing body in addition to a probable fine from his club.

"The referee's report does not include the incident which means on one side of the matter it is finished. But it could still be discussed at either the disciplinary committee or the general purposes committee."

Walter Smith, the Rangers manager, has promised to deal with the matter internally, with Gascoigne understood to be in line for a loss of two weeks' wages, the maximum allowed under SFA rules.

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