Football: Peacock goes but Francis stays: Mixed day at Queen's Park Rangers while Limpar joins Everton and Beagrie hops to City

QUEEN'S PARK RANGERS lost a central defender yesterday when Darren Peacock completed his pounds 2.75m move to Newcastle on a hectic final day for transfers but 'gained' a manager when Gerry Francis refused a 'fabulous' approach from Wolverhampton Wanderers and chose instead to accept a new one-year contract to stay at Loftus Road.

Deadline day for trading also saw Anders Limpar heading out of London as Everton beat Manchester City to give him the chance to rebuild his career free from Arsenal's straightjacket. The fee was pounds 1.6m and as compensation Everton sold Peter Beagrie to the Maine Road club and saved them the sum of pounds 500,000.

Staying in the capital and preparing for life at his seventh club there is Clive Allen who joined Millwall for pounds 75,000 to take his aggregate transfer valuation close to the pounds 7m mark.

That was the same amount which changed hands yesterday before the 5pm cut for new signings. It was the busiest last shopping day for years, reaching the same figure as did all five years preceding 1994 combined.

Tottenham, who earlier in the week had been courting Jean-Pierre Papin, found nobody new to strengthen their fight against relegation while Manchester United, who have decided not to appeal against Erci Cantona's second successive sending-off at Arsenal on Tuesday, believe their existing squad can cope with all their approaching suspensions. Steve Morrow's proposed switch from Arsenal to Swindon fell down and he is likely to earn a new Highbury contract.

Everton's Mike Walker was the most active manager, making a pounds 250,000 down payment for Joe Parkinson, of Bournemouth, in addition to the Limpar purchase of whom he said: 'Anders is an exciting player with good feet who wants regular first-team football to pursue a World Cup place with Sweden. He will get the chance at Everton.'

Allen's first club was QPR where he prospered and became a pounds 1m teenager. Cashing in their assets has long been the norm at the club and the prospect of losing Francis, a commanding Rangers captain before he returned as manager, prompted a demonstration by supporters last week against the chairman, Richard Thompson.

Uncertainty over Peacock's future and that of Les Ferdinand had complicated Francis's dilemma as to whether he should stay, go to another club or devote his time away from the game to his many business ventures.

'I've been here 18 years as player and manager and I had to consider 12,000 or 15,000 loyal supporters who have seen managers and players come and go,' Francis explained.

The easy decision, he said, was to go to Molineux where there is a fantastic stadium and commitment from the owner, Sir Jack Hayward, to match. 'He's put in pounds 21m and I could have gone straight in and got the best,' Francis said.

'It has been a very hectic and difficult few days for me but after a long chat with my family I decided to sign the chairman's new contract - even though I know it means I could still lose certain players and have all the familiar frustrations.'

The Peacock purchase confirms Newcastle's dual status as a major Premiership force and a major player in the transfer market. It puts the long- haired 26-year-old ahead of Des Walker as the most expensive defender in British football while it is the third time Kevin Keegan has raised the club's transfer record in just over 12 months.

Peacock's relocation caught him by surprise, the first he knew was when he received a telephone call from his new employers. 'I thought it was a wind-up,' he said, 'it is not normal practice for a player to find out in that way.

'I was due to have negotiations with Rangers on a new contract and nothing happened. I tried to get through to the chairman but he did not come back to me.'

Post-QPR, Allen's London litany includes Arsenal, Crystal Palace, Tottenham, Chelsea and West Ham and somewhere in between there was a return to Loftus Road. He is 33 and according to the Millwall manager, Mick McCarthy, still worth 'gold because he scores goals'.


TRANSFERS: Darren Peacock (QPR to Newcastle) pounds 2.75m; Anders Limpar (Arsenal to Everton) pounds 1.6m; Peter Beagrie (Everton to Manchester City) pounds 1.1m; Mark Blake (Portsmouth to Leicester) pounds 360,000; Joe Parkinson (Bournemouth to Everton) pounds 250,000 (plus appearance increments); Marcus Gayle (Brentford to Wimbledon) pounds 250,000; Greg Berry (Wimbledon to Millwall) pounds 200,000; Wayne Biggins (Celtic to Stoke) pounds 125,000; Robert Taylor (Leyton Orient to Brentford) pounds 100,000; Clive Allen (West Ham to Millwall) pounds 75,000; Steve Whitton (Ipswich to Colchester) pounds 10,000; Joe Allon (Brentford to Port Vale) small fee; Michael Basham (West Ham to Swansea) small fee; Tony Cunningham (Doncaster to Wycombe) small fee; Mike McHugh (Bradford to Scarborough) small fee; Mitchell Thomas (West Ham to Luton) free; Justin Gentle (Luton to Colchester) free; Neil Butler (Luton to Colchester) free.

LOANS: Jeroen Boere (West Ham to Portsmouth); Paul Kee (Oxford to Reading); Nick Cusack (Oxford to Wycombe); David Penney (Oxford to Swansea); Ray Woods (Coventry to Shrewsbury); Daniel Dichio (QPR to Barnet); David McDonald (Peterborough to Barnet); Ian Kilford (Nottingham Forest to Wigan); Ian Patterson (Burnley to Wigan); Tom Cowan (Sheffield Utd to Huddersfield); Gareth Cronin (Sunderland to Bradford); Paul Heald (Leyton Orient to Swindon); Paul Kerr (Port Vale to Leicester); Neil Lyne (Cambridge to Chesterfield); Paul McGee (Wimbledon to Peterborough); David Mehew (Bristol Rovers to Exeter); Matthew Rush (Swansea to West Ham - transfer back); Gary Worthington (Exeter to Doncaster); Michael Oakes (Aston Villa to Tranmere); Tim Carter (Hartlepool to Millwall); Kevin Brock (Newcastle to Cardiff - extended loan); Paul Dickov (Arsenal to Brighton); David Carmichael (Coventry to Nuneaton); Scott Marshall (Arsenal to Oxford); Jimmy Carter (Arsenal to Oxford); Terry Jones (Everton to Northwich); Mark Ward (Everton to Birmingham); Dennis Bailey (QPR to Watford); Graham Lancashire (Burnley to Chester); Gavin Maguire (Millwall to Scarborough); Stephen Swales (Scarborough to Millwall); Kevin Watson (Tottenham to Brentford); Gerry Harrison (Bristol City to Huddersfield); David Kevan (Stoke to Bournemouth); Carl Saunders (Bristol Rovers to Middlesbrough); David Winnie (Aberdeen to Middlesbrough).