Football: Patient Spurs close to reward

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The Independent Online
TOTTENHAM HOTPSUR are expected to complete the signing of Teddy Sheringham, the Nottingham Forest striker, for pounds 2.1m today, concluding a patient quest for the 26-year-old Londoner.

Terry Venables, the Spurs chief executive, tried in vain to sign Sheringham in the close season, as he searched for a replacement for Gary Lineker. Forest were unwilling to sell then - but the situation has changed now that their experienced trialist, Gary Bannister, has shown that he can still score goals at the top level. Brian Clough, the Forest manager, also needs funds to bolster his side's leaky defence.

'Sheringham has agreed terms and has had a medical, but there are still one or two loose ends to be tied up in the morning,' Ray Clemence, Tottenham's assistant first-team coach, said. Sheringham moved to the Midlands from Millwall just over a year ago, and scored 22 goals for Forest last season.

Tottenham's proposed friendly at Lazio, scheduled for 23 September, will be postponed again because of a clash with Spurs' Coca-Cola Cup tie against Brentford. The original date of 17 August fell through because Paul Gascoigne was not fit enough to make his debut for Lazio against his old club.

Eric Cantona, the French striker who scored a hat-trick for Leeds United against Spurs on Tuesday, has been excluded from France's squad for their World Cup qualifier against Bulgaria on 9 September. 'I don't feel that he (Cantona) is in the best frame of mind to play in the present side,' Gerard Houllier, the new French manager, said. 'Perhaps he has been affected more than others by the defeat in the European Championships.'

Charlton Athletic, the early leaders of the First Division are expected to announce the date for a return to their Valley home today. A decision must be made on whether building work can resume on the ground they left in September 1985. If Charlton cannot give the go-ahead, they must arrange for the return of pounds 1.1m in subscriptions from supporters to the Valley Investment Plan.

SKOL CUP Semi-final draw: St Johnstone v Rangers (Hampden Park, 22 September); Celtic v Aberdeen (Hampden Park, 23 September).

Non-League Notebook, page 37