Football: Overmars over here as Wenger lands Dutch winger

Arsene Wenger rolled his shopping trolley in to Highbury yesterday and tipped out pounds 8.75m worth of goodies - with the promise of more to come before the season starts.

The Arsenal manager's rummaging among the shelves of football's continental hyper-market procured the Dutch winger Marc Overmars and the Portuguese striker Luis Boa Morte, whose name translates as "good death", or possibly good night if you happen to be 33-year-old Ian Wright.

Overmars, the 24-year-old international with three Dutch championships and a European Cup winner's medal already in his bootbag, cost pounds 7m at the Ajax checkout, while the 19-year-old Boa Morte a pounds 1.75m bargain from Sporting Lisbon.

Wenger, who signed the French defenders Emmanuel Petit and Gilles Grimandi earlier this month, has now spent more than pounds 14m but shows no signs of putting away the debit card. Indeed, the Gunners' shop will have to start stocking a shirt bearing the name Alberto Mendez-Rodriguez - a 22-year- old midfielder from the German non-League side FC Feucht.

"It's not all over yet," Wenger said. "I might still bring in one, or a maximum two, players before the start of the season. I need to bring in younger players. We have the best players in the country in the 28 to 35 age group, but between 20 and 28 they are all at Manchester United, Newcastle or Liverpool."

Overmars' decision to leave a "beautiful club" for a five-year contract at Highbury was influenced by Dennis Bergkamp. "I have heard only good things about Arsenal from Dennis," he said. "I like what I have seen of the Premiership. I can see there might be a little more freedom to use my speed."

Now fully recovered from a cruciate ligament injury sustained in December 1995, Overmars added: "There are no problems anymore. I just had to be very strong. It takes time, but you must not be afraid."

The 36-year-old Peter Beardsley has been offered the chance to extend his first-team career at Bolton Wanderers. Beardsley met the Bolton manager, Colin Todd, yesterday after a fee of around pounds 250,000 had been agreed with Newcastle United.

Tomas Brolin has been ordered to report back at Leeds United by Friday after a pounds 2m move to Parma, following a lengthy loan spell, fell through. The 27-year-old Swede, who cost Leeds a club-record pounds 4.5m from Parma in 1995, has a year to run on his contract.

Brighton supporters who have been checking out the hostelries around Gillingham, have been wasting their time. Next season's pre-match pints now look like being quaffed in south-east London, following the sudden decision to groundshare with Millwall. The New Den is seen as being better placed than the Priestfield Stadium, with journey times for supporters halved.

Only last week, Brighton told the Football League that the Gillingham link-up was going ahead in order to ensure the club's status for the League's annual meeting. Brighton, who will still have to pay Gillingham pounds 300,000, have until Friday to find a pounds 500,000 bond to guarantee their future as a League club.

The Southampton midfielder Robbie Slater scored his first goal for Australia as Terry Venables' side beat the Solomon Islands 6-2 in Sydney to win their World Cup qualifying group and earn a play-off for the Oceania title against either New Zealand or Fiji.

The Scottish League will open on Saturday 2 August with only three matches in the Premier Division. Sky Sports muscled in to claim Hibernian's home match against Celtic as their Sunday match, with Rangers against Hearts filling the Monday night TV slot.

Scottish Premier Division fixtures, page 31

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

SThree: Trainee Recruitment Consultant

£20000 - £25000 per annum + uncapped commission : SThree: Hello! I know most ...

Recruitment Genius: Graduate Web Performance Consultant Trainee

£22000 - £28000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Consultant trainee opportunit...

Ashdown Group: Marketing Executive - (Full marketing mix) - Knutsford

£22000 - £25000 per annum + Benefits: Ashdown Group: Marketing Executive - Knu...

Ashdown Group: Web Developer - ASP.NET, C#, MVC - London

£45000 - £55000 per annum + Excellent benefits: Ashdown Group: Web Developer -...

Day In a Page

Inside the Kansas greenhouses where Monsanto is 'playing God' with the future of the planet

The future of GM

The greenhouses where Monsanto 'plays God' with the future of the planet
Britain's mild winters could be numbered: why global warming is leaving UK chillier

Britain's mild winters could be numbered

Gulf Stream is slowing down faster than ever, scientists say
Government gives £250,000 to Independent appeal

Government gives £250,000 to Independent appeal

Donation brings total raised by Homeless Veterans campaign to at least £1.25m
Oh dear, the most borrowed book at Bank of England library doesn't inspire confidence

The most borrowed book at Bank of England library? Oh dear

The book's fifth edition is used for Edexcel exams
Cowslips vs honeysuckle: The hunt for the UK’s favourite wildflower

Cowslips vs honeysuckle

It's the hunt for UK’s favourite wildflower
Child abuse scandal: Did a botched blackmail attempt by South African intelligence help Cyril Smith escape justice?

Did a botched blackmail attempt help Cyril Smith escape justice?

A fresh twist reveals the Liberal MP was targeted by the notorious South African intelligence agency Boss
Tony Blair joins a strange and exclusive club of political leaders whose careers have been blighted by the Middle East

Blair has joined a strange and exclusive club

A new tomb has just gone up in the Middle East's graveyard of US and British political reputations, says Patrick Cockburn
Election 2015: Meet the top 12 wacky candidates seeking your vote in May

Election 2015

Meet the top 12 wacky candidates seeking your vote in May
Countdown to the election: Operation Save Danny Alexander shifts into high gear as the SNP target his Commons seat

Operation Save Danny Alexander shifts into high gear

The Chief Secretary to the Treasury didn’t forget his Highland roots in the Budget. But the SNP is after his Commons seat
The US economy is under threat because of its neglected infrastructure

The US is getting frayed at the edges

Public spending on infrastructure is only half of Europe’s, and some say the nation’s very prosperity is threatened, says Rupert Cornwell
Mad Men final episodes: Museum exhibition just part of the hoopla greeting end of 1960s-set TV hit

New Yorkers raise a glass to Mad Men

A museum exhibition is just part of the hoopla greeting the final run of the 1960s-set TV hit
Land speed record: British-built hybrid rocket car aims to be the fastest on Earth

British-built hybrid rocket car aims to be the fastest on Earth

Bloodhound SSC will attempt to set a new standard in South Africa's Kalahari desert
Housebuilders go back to basics by using traditional methods and materials

Housebuilders go back to basics - throwing mud at the wall until it sticks

Traditional materials are ticking all the construction boxes: they are cheap, green – and anyone can use them
Daniel Brühl: 'When you have success abroad, you become a traitor. Envy is very German'

Daniel Brühl: 'Envy is very German'

He's got stick for his golden acting career and for his beloved restaurant - but Daniel Brühl is staying put in Berlin (where at least the grannies love him)
How Leica transformed photography for ever: Celebrating 100 years of the famous camera

Celebrating 100 years of Leica

A new book reveals how this elegant, lightweight box of tricks would transform the way we saw life on the street and in fashion, on the battlefield and across the world