Football: Murphy the new target for Spurs

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The Independent Online
Tottenham appear to be losing out to Atletico Madrid in the race for Juninho, but they could yet land another young player with a growing reputation.

Spurs have made a pounds 2.7m bid for Danny Murphy of Crewe, and are now the favourites to sign the England youth international midfielder, who was in London yesterday for talks. Newcastle, who have bid pounds 2.5m, and Liverpool are also keen on him.

Despite Tottenham's pounds 11m offer, Juninho still seems set for Spain. The Middlesbrough forward is at home in Brazil, where his father and manager, Osvaldo Giroldo, said: "Juninho will play for Atletico Madrid. Next week we will go to Madrid to pass the necessary medical. Atletico and Middlesbrough reached agreement on Sunday with my approval. It is true that at the end a great offer came from Tottenham, but my son wants to play in Spain."

Although the Spurs chairman, Alan Sugar, said Middlesbrough's chief executive, Keith Lamb, had told him no other offers had been received, Atletico were believed to have faxed a pounds 12m offer to the Riverside stadium last night.

Barnsley have bought the South African international midfielder Eric Tinkler for pounds 650,000 from the Italian side Cagliari. The 26-year-old becomes Barnsley's third summer recruit, following the pounds 250,000 goalkeeper Lars Leese from Bayer Leverkusen and the pounds 1.5m club record signing, the Macedonian international striker Georgi Hristov.

Tinkler had a spell with Coventry at the age of 16 but moved on to Portugal and then Sardinia last summer. "I am very happy to be at Barnsley," he said. "The club is clearly ambitious." Barnsley also hope to complete the signing of the Slovenian international defender Ales Krizan for pounds 500,000 from Maribor Branik.

Mike Sheron completed his pounds 2.5m move from Stoke to Queen's Park Rangers yesterday. Bolton have sealed the club record pounds 2.5m signing of Robbie Elliott from Newcastle.

Paul Ince is due to meet Everton today to discuss the terms available as part of their pounds 5m bid for him, the best offer that Internazionale, the England midfielder's club, have on the table. Newcastle are also planning to talk to Ince.

Howard Kendall, Everton's new manager, has signed the Republic of Ireland midfielder Gareth Farrelly, who was out of contract at Aston Villa. "We may have to go to a tribunal to decide a fee," Kendall said. Another young Irish international, David Connolly, has moved to the Dutch club Feyenoord from Watford on a "Bosman ruling" free transfer.

Middlesbrough are to give a three-week trial to Jose Maria Bakero, the 33-year-old former Spain and Barcelona midfielder who has just spent a season with the Mexican side, Vera Cruz.