Football: Collymore finally at Forest

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The Independent Online
NOTTINGHAM FOREST finally got their man yesterday, after three months and relegation, when they agreed to pay Southend United pounds 2m for Stan Collymore.

Frank Clark succeeded where his predecessor as Forest manager failed by adding pounds 250,000 to Brian Clough's bid for Collymore. It is a giant leap for the 6ft 4in forward who was plucked from among Crystal Palace's also-rans by Southend for pounds 150,000 last November and rewarded their investment with 18 goals. 'It's all about being given the chance to show what you can do and in that respect I owe an awful lot to Southend,' the former Stafford Rangers striker said.

Newcastle United, who swapped places with Forest at the end of the season, have lured Peter Beardsley back to St James' Park to aid their first Premier League campaign, paying Everton pounds 1.5m for the 32-year-old forward's services.

Beardsley, unlike Collymore, is a proven performer, the possessor of 49 England caps who originally left Newcastle for Liverpool six years ago. Newcastle's manager, Kevin Keegan, described him yesterday as 'still the best player in this country.'

West Ham United, also promoted in May, chose to reinforce their defence by signing Simon Webster from Charlton Athletic. The fee will have to be set by tribunal, but it will probably be about pounds 400,000.

Alan Shearer, who needed surgery in February to repair cruciate knee ligament damage, intends to be back in Blackburn Rovers' attack by the autumn. Dismissing reports that he would be out of action until Christmas, he said yesterday: 'I am working out daily with our physio and everything is on schedule. Without setting any targets, I hope to be back playing in September.'

Diego Maradona, no longer wanted by the Spanish club Seville, knows all about sitting on the sidelines but, unless he has been talking to his compatriot, Alberto Tarantini, he probably knows very little about Birmingham City, who have made a pounds 2m bid for him. The Argentinian's contract demands will probably prove too much for the Blues, who are more likely to be successful in their pursuit of Lars Bohinen, of Lillestrom, and Oyvind Leonhardsen, of Rosenborg, Norway's World Cup goalscorers against England. The club could expect the pair to cost them about pounds 1m.

Ossie Ardiles hopes to lure Watford's manager Steve Perryman to north London as his No 2, but the matter will be on hold until Perryman and Watford's chairman, Jack Petchey, return from the United States. But two other former White Hart Lane employees did agree a working relationship yesterday, Glenn Hoddle appointing his former manager at Tottenham, Peter Shreeves, as his assistant at Chelsea.

Barnet appear to be sliding out of the Football League after only two seasons. It looks unlikely that the Second Division club will be able to raise the pounds 500,000 they must deposit as guarantee against their failure to fulfil next season's fixtures.

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