Football: Liverpool trying to sway it with Flowers

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The Independent Online
LIVERPOOL have joined Blackburn Rovers on the trail of Tim Flowers. The 26-year-old Southampton goalkeeper, whose consistently impressive club performances have earned him England recognition, is already the subject of a straight money bid from Ewood Park while Liverpool are now proposing cash plus two players.

Graeme Souness, the manager of the Merseyside club, is believed to have offered Southampton Don Hutchison, the 22-year-old midfielder, and the former England Under-21 goalkeeper, David James, plus a cash adjustment. Souness' Anfield predecessor, Kenny Dalglish, who is still rebuilding Rovers' team, has made repeated bids for Flowers, whose value is rising rapidly to the pounds 2.5m mark.

The Kenilworth-born Flowers, who cost Southampton pounds 70,000 from Wolverhampton Wanderers in May 1986, confirmed his arrival as a top-flight goalkeeper with a solid display against Brazil on England's summer tour to the United States. Flowers - whose father Ron, a former wing-half at Molineux, won 49 caps - is now considered England's No 3 after David Seaman and Chris Woods.

Ian Branfoot, Southampton's manager, has offered Aston Villa pounds 500,000 for Nigel Spink as a potential replacement for Flowers.

Stoke City, preparing for the pending departure of Lou Macari to Celtic, have placed Denis Smith, the new Oxford United manager, on top of their short-list. Birmingham City have enquired about Steve Potts, the West Ham United defender and captain. Potts is valued at pounds 1.5m by the Hammers.