Football: Houllier in pounds 7.5m move for Hamann

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The Independent Online
LIVERPOOL HAVE made a move to sign Dietmar Hamann from Newcastle United in a surprise pounds 7.5m deal. The Anfield club's manager, Gerard Houllier, is in contact with Newcastle about the unsettled German midfielder, who would be an ideal replacement for Paul Ince. Hamann is currently in Germany, where he is being linked with a transfer to Borussia Dortmund. Although he is also an Arsenal target, he is expected on Merseyside soon for talks about a four-year contract.

Hamann has been left out of the German squad for the Confederations Cup in Mexico next week and sources in his homeland believe he will be a Liverpool player within a week. Hamann fell out with the Newcastle manager, Ruud Gullit, at the end of last season and has been fined for saying he wanted to leave.

One player Liverpool deny any interest in is Markus Babbel. Bayern Munich claim the defender will go to Liverpool on a free transfer when his contract expires at the end of next season, but last night Liverpool denied any such deal.

Meanwhile, a player Liverpool say will not be going anywhere is Robbie Fowler, despite Arsenal's persistent interest.

With Nicolas Anelka poised - possibly - to join Lazio, the manager, Arsene Wenger, wants Fowler to replace him, but Liverpool's executive vice-chairman, Peter Robinson, insisted he is not for sale. The next man down Wenger's shopping list is Leicester's Emile Heskey.

The Lazio president, Sergio Cragnotti, whose agent Vincenzo Morabito has been negotiating with Arsenal for a month, said yesterday that he was going to make his final offer for Anelka last night.

"We will make a small improvement to the offer but it will be our final offer and if that is not accepted by tomorrow night we will leave the negotiating table," he said.

Arsenal's vice-chairman, David Dein, who conducts most of the club's transfer business, appeared confident that Juventus would still top the Roman club's "final offer".

The Slovak midfielder Lubomir Moravcik will be offered a new contract to stay at Celtic despite the signing of Eyal Berkovic from West Ham United. The pounds 5.5m arrival of the Israeli international had raised questions about Moravcik's future at Parkhead but the club's new coach, John Barnes, insisted yesterday that the player is still in his plans.

Stefano Eranio is to be given the chance to stay with Derby until 2001 - and possibly end his career at Pride Park. The Italian's contract runs out next summer but the Rams manager, Jim Smith, wants to tie the 30-year- old midfielder to the club for an extra season.

The Southampton manager, Dave Jones, is considering an improved offer for the Norwegian international defender Bjorn Otto Bragstad. Jones, who failed with a pounds 2m offer for the Leeds United defender David Wetherall a fortnight ago, had an initial offer of pounds 1m for the 28-year-old turned down by Rosenborg last week.

Kevin Campbell will fly to Turkey today as he seeks to end his long-running transfer saga. Trabzonspor have invited Campbell and the Everton secretary, Michael Dunford, to Istanbul to speak to officials of the Turkish club.

Recent talks between the two clubs at Goodison broke down because of Trabzonspor's insistence on a pounds 3.5m fee for the striker, who claims a clause in his contract states that he should be allowed to leave for pounds 3m.

Leeds were hoping last night to complete the purchase of Michael Duberry from Chelsea for pounds 4.5m. While Duberry is preparing to join, the striker Clyde Wijnhard has met Huddersfield Town officials to discuss a possible pounds 1m move.

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