Football: Leeds ready to secure Steven

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LEEDS UNITED have agreed a club-record pounds 3m fee with Marseille for Trevor Steven, and the 30-year-old England midfielder will leave the French champions for their English equivalents this week subject to his agreeing personal terms with Leeds.

Steven, formerly with Burnley, Everton and Rangers, was also the subject of enquiries from the Ibrox club, who sold him to Marseille for pounds 5.5m a year ago, and from Liverpool. If he completes the move, Steven will become the sixth international midfield player on Leeds's books - joining Strachan, McAllister, Batty, Speed and Hodge plus the recent signing from Blackburn, Scott Sellars - and increase speculation that Gordon Strachan will concentrate more on a coaching role next season.

The 35-year-old Leeds captain hopes that surgery on his troublesome back injury will enable him to continue playing, but Steven, who plays in his right-sided position, may well become a straight replacement. Leeds previously tried to recruit Steven's club-mate in France, Chris Waddle, but the former England winger instead joined Sheffield Wednesday.

Kerry Dixon ended his nine- year stay at Stamford Bridge yesterday when he moved from Chelsea to Southampton for pounds 575,000. The arrival of the former England striker, 31 this week, at The Dell could hasten the departure of Alan Shearer, while Chelsea are likely to renew their interest in Norwich City's Robert Fleck, the Scottish international forward.

Reading, Dixon's first club, have agreed a fee of pounds 55,000 with Bournemouth, their Second Division rivals, for Jimmy Quinn, the 32-year-old Northern Ireland international striker.

Adrian Heath, released by Manchester City, is training with Port Vale after learning that Stoke do not intend to take up an option to sign him. Heath, previously with Espanol, is negotiating with two Spanish First Division clubs but will sign for Vale if talks fall through.

Barry Venison, the former Sunderland and England Under-21 full- back, has returned to the North- east in a pounds 250,000 move from Liverpool to Newcastle United.

Coca-Cola are expected to sign a pounds 10m three-year sponsorship deal with the Football Association Premier League this week. Rick Parry, the Premier League's chief executive, is hopeful that up to five other major companies will also sign deals before the start of the season on 15 August.