Football: Flowers deal in bud

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The Independent Online
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TIM FLOWERS, who has refused a new deal with Southampton, could set a British transfer record for a goalkeeper if a move to Blackburn Rovers goes through. Flowers appears likely to change clubs for pounds 2m, which would break the pounds 1.3m Arsenal paid Queen's Park Rangers in May 1990 for David Seaman.

Southampton may replace Flowers with Zsolt Petry, a Hungarian keeper who has trained with the team this week.

In the meantime, Southampton have signed Peter Reid. The 37- year-old former Manchester City player-manager and England midfielder makes his debut against Sheffield United at The Dell today. Kevin Keegan, the Newcastle United manager, was yesterday completing the signing of Mike Jeffrey, the Doncaster Rovers striker, in a pounds 60,000 exchange deal with Newcastle's midfielder David Roche, who is valued at pounds 25,000.

A Chicago businessman plans to launch an outdoor 12-team professional league in the US in 1995, in competition with the United States Soccer Federation's attempt to establish a Fifa-mandated league after next year's World Cup.

Jim Paglia said all the players would sign contracts with the league, which would then allocate them to individual teams, which would play in 20,000-seat stadiums in major markets across the country.

'We do not question the USSF's governance authority,' Paglia said yesterday. 'But we do not accept they therefore own everything in soccer.'

Dave Mitchell, 31, the former Swindon striker who joined Izmir in the summer, has quit Turkish football after only two matches, complaining of the heat. The Australian international hopes to resume his career in England.