Football: FA to ask Spurs for clarification over Venables: Game's governing body seeks to clear path for England coach to attend matches at his former club

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The Independent Online
THE Football Association will today seek clarification as to whether or not Terry Venables, the England coach, will be allowed to attend matches at his former club, Tottenham Hotspur. After apparently confusing signals from Tottenham over the weekend, the FA is to write to the club.

Venables fought a bitter battle for control of Tottenham with Alan Sugar, the club's chairman, and was ousted last year. Ossie Ardiles, the Spurs manager, was quoted on Saturday as saying that Venables would now be welcome back at White Hart Lane.

However, in a BBC interview before the home match against Manchester United, Sugar appeared reluctant to be drawn on the issue, saying: 'I think Ossie's getting a bit carried away with himself. I think he's up there in cloud cuckoo land with his two new signings.' Sugar was unavailable for comment yesterday.

Venables, who names his squad tomorrow for the Wembley friendly against the United States on 7 September, went to watch Newcastle's match with Southampton on Saturday, sending one of his aides, Ted Buxton, to Spurs.

David Davies, the FA spokesman, said yesterday: 'We are unclear as to whether Mr Venables is welcome at Tottenham after the weekend's events. We are not sure whether we should believe Mr Ardiles or Mr Sugar, so we shall be seeking clarification from Tottenham.'

Everton, who have completed the pounds 3m signing of Club Bruges' 21-year-old Nigerian international striker, Daniel Amokachi, in spite of a last- minute counter-offer by Atletico Madrid, are confident of breaking their transfer record again this week.

Goodison sources indicate that the target is another foreign forward who played in the World Cup. Jim Greenwood, the Everton secretary, would not name the player but said: 'We're working towards another deal and negotiations will continue over the next couple of days.'

Meanwhile, Liverpool are close to wrapping up a pounds 3.75m deal with Coventry for the Republic of Ireland defender, Phil Babb.

Coventry will sell once a replacement is secured, and that would trigger off a succession of other transfers. Mark Wright is likely to leave Anfield to rejoin Southampton, who are expected to sell Ken Monkou to Wimbledon.

That in turn would increase the likelihood of the Dons' unsettled centre-back, John Scales, joining Tottenham. Meanwhile, Coventry have emerged as rivals to Portsmouth for Guy Whittingham, Aston Villa's former Pompey striker, and Liverpool's Don Hutchison is set to join West Ham for pounds 1.5m.

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