Football: Gray pencils Yorke into his Everton plans

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The Independent Online
Andy Gray, Everton's manager-in-waiting, has put the Aston Villa striker Dwight Yorke at the top of his shopping list. The Sky pundit worked with Yorke when he was Villa's assistant manager.

Everton are on the verge of naming Gray as manager, although there is still the question of his backroom staff. Gray's preferred line-up is to have Richard Money, currently coaching with Manchester City, team up with Colin Harvey, another former Everton manager, who rejoined the club yesterday as director of youth coaching.

Howard Kendall, the Sheffield United manager, was originally proposed as general manager by Johnson, but Gray will reserve the right to appoint his own men.

Blackburn Rovers are trying to sign Martin Dahlin. Their manager, Roy Hodgson, worked with the 29-year-old Swedish striker in his Malmo days. Hodgson has had a boost, with the French right-back Patrick Valery agreeing to join in a fortnight when his contract with Bastia runs out.

The England physiotherapist, Alan Smith, is to take a leading role with Blackburn by heading the club's medical department. His involvement with the national squad will not be affected.

Peter Beardsley has rejected a move to Bolton. The former England international had been made an offer by the Wanderers manager, Colin Todd, but has chosen to stay with Newcastle.

Another player to spurn Todd yesterday was his right-winger Scott Green, who agreed a move to Tranmere in a pounds 300,000 deal. Wolves veteran Andy Thompson also joined Tranmere yesterday, on a three-year contract.

Manchester United officially withdrew their pounds 5m bid for Bayern Munich's Markus Babbel yesterday as the centre-back accused them of using him as a bargaining tool. "They were using me as a decoy in order to be able to negotiate harder with another player," he said.

Rangers have signed the 26-year-old Perugia striker Marco Negri on a four-year contract following a pounds 3.7m move. Another of their potential foreign recruits, the Dutch goalkeeper Oscar Moens, may decide to join Real Madrid instead, though. The 23-year-old AZ Alkmaar player returned home yesterday after two days of talks at Ibrox with his future still unresolved.

David Bellotti, Brighton's chief executive for the last three and a half years, is to leave the club as part of the new ownership agreement announced by the Football Association in April. His departure was a clause of the deal which gives club chairman Dick Knight's consortium the same 49.5 per cent shareholding as former co-owners Bill Archer and Greg Stanley.