Football: City paying Lomas to go

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The Independent Online
Manchester City are paying Steve Lomas to move to West Ham to stop them missing out on a pounds 2.5m transfer fee. Francis Lee, the Manchester City chairman, has given the Northern Ireland international a pay-off of over pounds 100,000 to persuade him to join the Hammers now rather than wait until he is a free agent, writes Alan Nixon.

City know they will lose Lomas for nothing when his current deal expires in June 1998. By then a new rule will allow all players over 24 to go anywhere at home or abroad for nothing.

Lomas would be one of the first to benefit from the change which clubs have been told will happen by the Football Association under orders from Uefa. West Ham's five-year contract offer to Lomas is worth around pounds 1.5m, but he could easily make more in 15 months time.

Stewart Houston, the Queen's Park Rangers manager, went back to Highbury to sign Arsenal's Northern Ireland defender Steve Morrow and then sold his Australian full-back Andrew McDermott to West Bromwich Albion for pounds 400,000.

Houston, the former Arsenal coach, will pay pounds 500,000 for 26-year-old Morrow and give him a four-year contract, but, initially, the player has signed on loan at Loftus Road to beat yesterday's transfer deadline.

Derek Lilley's move to Leeds United was clouded in tragedy when the scout who found him died. Lilley completed the pounds 700,000 switch from Morton to Elland Road, but the man who made it possible passed away before the transfer went through.

John Barr, the veteran Leeds talent spotter, died yesterday at the age of 80 and after decades of finding top players for the Yorkshire club.

Mike Marsh, who moved to Southend for a club record pounds 400,000 from Galatasaray last August, rejected a move to Southampton after meeting Graeme Souness to discuss it.

Peterborough's club transfer record is set to be broken following the sale of 17-year-old David Billington to Sheffield Wednesday. Posh have accepted a bid in the region of pounds 500,000.

Middlesbrough have sold Alan Miller to West Brom for pounds 400,000 after the former England Under-21 international recently completed a two-month loan at the Hawthorns. West Ham goalkeeper Steve Mautone has signed for Reading in a deal that will be worth up to pounds 250,000 depending on appearances.

Deadline-day moves

Jorgen Nielsen Hvidovre (Denmark) to Liverpool; Carl Tiler Aston Villa to Sheff Utd; Mart Poom Tallin (Estonia) to Derby County; Mark Tinkler Leeds to York; Phillip King Aston Villa to Swindon; Paul Birch Doncaster to Exeter; Brian McGorry Wycombe to Hereford; Scott Stamps Torquay to Colchester; Paulo Cesar Watson Herediano (C Rica) to Derby; Mauricio Solis Mora Herediano (C Rica) to Derby; Robert Blake Darlington to Bradford; Miguel De Souza Wycombe to Peterborough; John Frain Birmingham to Northampton; Chris Wilder Notts County to Bradford; Mark McNally Southend to Stoke David Beresford Oldham to Huddersfield; Des Linton Luton to Peterborough; Paul Reid Huddersfield to Oldham; Matthew Rush Norwich to Oldham; Keith O'Halloran Middlesbrough to St Johnstone; Steve Mautone West Ham to Reading; Derrick Hamilton Bradford to Newcastle; Alan Miller Middlesbrough to West Brom; Tony Agana Notts County to Hereford; David Baker Scunthorpe to Hartlepool; Jonathan Ford Gillingham to Barnet; Andrew Mason Hull to Chesterfield; Sean McAuley Hartlepool to Scunthorpe; Andrew McDermott QPR to West Brom; Carl Shutt Bradford to Darlington.

Loan deals

Kevin Cooper Derby to Stockport; Graham Coughlan Blackburn to Swindon; Justin Walker N Forest to Scunthorpe; Craig Forrest Ipswich to Chelsea; Darren Wassall Derby to Birmingham; Steve Harper Newcastle to Stockport; Andy Kiwomya Bradford to Luton; Mark Janney Tottenham to Brentford; Lee Jones Liverpool to Tranmere; Jason Lee Nott'm Forest to Grimsby; Gavin McGowan Arsenal to Luton; Paul Wilson Scunthorpe to Cambridge Utd; Jonathan Atkinson Morpeth to Darlington; Michael Brown Man City to Hartlepool; Dean Chandler Charlton to Torquay; Brian Gayle Rotherham to Bristol Rovers; Keith Scott Norwich to Wycombe; Troy Bennett Barnsley to Scarborough; Mike Galloway Notts County to Gillingham; David Martin Northampton to Brighton; Richard Cresswell York to Mansfield; Tom Evans C Palace to Coventry; Sean Flynn Derby to Stoke; Steve Guinan Nott'm Forest to Burnley; Steve Morrow Arsenal to QPR; Leo Fortune-West Gillingham to L Orient; Jamie Clapham Tottenham to Bristol Rovers; Steve Blatherwick Nott'm Forest to Reading; Martin Taylor Derby to Wycombe; Adrian Clarke Arsenal to Southend; Michael Williams Sheff Wed to Peterborough; Nathan Freeman Man City to Fulham; Mark Patterson Sheff Utd to Southend; Jonathan Sheffield Peterborough to Oldham.