Football: Everton agree to pay pounds 2.2m for Samways: Tottenham Hotspur prepare to profit by selling an uncapped midfielder but lose out to Fiorentina in chase for Marcio Santos

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The Independent Online
THE rising price of domestic talent - heralded by the pounds 5m Blackburn Rovers spent on the uncapped Chris Sutton - was highlighted again yesterday when Everton agreed to pay Tottenham Hotspur pounds 2.2m for Vinny Samways. This was pounds 200,000 more than Spurs needed to acquire the German Jurgen Klinsmann, a proven international performer.

Mike Walker, the manager at Goodison Park where rebuilding is the buzzword, initially offered pounds 1.5m for the former England Under-21 midfielder, who turns 26 in October. Spurs said 'not enough' and the horse-trading for the skilful, if occasionally lightweight Samways concluded at an excessive pounds 2.2m.

Smart business for Spurs and Alan Sugar, but Walker had little choice. Football's inflationary spiral means that bidding can start at pounds 2m for a Premiership first-teamer with no international pedigree. 'We have agreed a fee of pounds 2.2m with Everton,' a Tottenham spokesman said. 'Vinny is now talking to them and it's up to him.'

Samways, a likeable East Ender who arrived at Spurs as an associated schoolboy in November 1982, has already declared his admiration of Walker. 'I feel under Mike Walker the good times will be around the corner,' Samways said. 'I think he proved at Norwich what he can do and at a club of Everton's size who knows what he can achieve?'

Tottenham, for once, failed to sign another bargain foreigner when Marcio Santos, Bordeaux's Brazilian stopper, agreed to join Fiorentina in a deal reported to be worth pounds 2m.

Marcio Santos' compatriot, Romario, was yesterday criticised by Johan Cruyff for extending his post-Pasadena festivities in Rio and missing club training. 'This demonstrates a lack of respect towards his team-mates,' Cruyff, Barcelona's coach, said.

'We hope he appears and when he does we'll take the decisions that have to be taken.'

Tony Daley, Wolverhampton Wanderers' new winger who had been enjoying an impressive pre- season, undergoes a cartilage operation today after injuring his knee. 'I have written Tony off for the start of the season and it is a big setback to us,' the Wolves manager, Graham Taylor, said. 'Tony is obviously looking on the bright side but I don't feel that way. If everything is straightforward, it might be a different story but I think it will be the end of September or the beginning of October before he is ready to come back into the side.'

Sheffield United have enquired about Liverpool's transfer-listed midfielder, Don Hutchison. The Anfield club replied they were interested in a player-exchange, possibly involving the Blades' much-admired goalkeeper, Alan Kelly. Liverpool's increasingly forgotten defender, Torben Piechnik, has left Merseyside for the Danish club, AGF.

Scarborough have dismissed their manager, Steve Wicks. The former Chelsea, Derby County, Queen's Park Rangers, and Crystal Palace centre-half joined the Third Division club only 10 months ago.

Alex Totten yesterday turned his back on jobs as East Fife manager and Goodyear tyre salesman for full-time employment as Kilmarnock's new manager, in succession to Tommy Burns.

Gianluca Pagliuca, Italy's World Cup goalkeeper, has joined Internazionale from Sampdoria in an exchange deal. Walter Zenga, Pagliuca's predecessor as Italy's No 1, and Riccardo Ferri, the former Azzurri defender, move in the opposite direction and may feature against Rangers in the Ibrox tournament on Friday.

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