Football: Goma deal as Gullit builds

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The Independent Online
NEWCASTLE UNITED yesterday signed the French international defender Alain Goma for pounds 4.75m on a five-year deal from Paris St-Germain, taking Ruud Gullit's spending at St James' Park past pounds 20m.

Goma began his career at Auxerre, where he made almost 200 appearances before his move to PSG in 1998. Real Mallorca's Marcelino Elena is set to follow Goma to the North-east as Newcastle's Dutch manager rebuilds his back line.

Gerard Houllier has taken his spending in seven months of solo control at Liverpool to almost pounds 17m by completing the signing of the Dutchman Sander Westerveld for pounds 4m, a British record fee for a goalkeeper. Houllier also hopes to sign the Czech international Vladimir Smicer from Lens for pounds 4m and West Ham's Marc Vivien Foe for pounds 5m.

Westerveld, who earned his first full cap against Brazil last week, completed his medical at Anfield and said: "This is an unbelievable big club. It's been the English club of the century. I know they haven't been as successful as they'd wanted in recent years so I hope I can help them win a major trophy next season."

The Leeds United manager, David O'Leary, is to sign the England squad defender Danny Mills from Charlton after agreeing a pounds 3.8m fee. O'Leary has made Mills his first major purchase of the summer, putting in an increased offer yesterday.

Aston Villa and Blackburn Rovers are considering an exchange deal which would take the former England goalkeeper Tim Flowers back to the Midlands, where he began his career with Wolves. Ricardo Scimeca, the Villa utility player, would drop into the First Division with Rovers. Blackburn would also pay a cash adjustment for Scimeca, who played centre-back, midfield and striker for Villa last season.

The Sporting Lisbon president, Jose Roquette, has denied making an approach for the former England coach Glenn Hoddle. "I have not spoken with anyone on this matter," he said.

Adrian Heath has become the manager of Sheffield United. The 38-year- old former Everton and Aston Villa striker returns to the Blades where he spent a short spell as assistant to Howard Kendall before leaving to take charge of Burnley in March 1996. Since then he has had another spell under Kendall at Everton and last season guided Sunderland's reserve team to the Pontins League title.

Another First Division club cleared up their managerial position yesterday when Colin Lee finally agreed a two-year contract with Wolves.