Football: Prices right for Keegan: Newcastle's bargain pair

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The Independent Online
JUST when it seemed that the vaults of the Bank of England would be hard pushed to buy a decent Premiership substitute, Newcastle United managed to bring football finances into the realm of the sane yesterday.

Jason Drysdale (23) and Steve Guppy (25), who will make their debuts in the weekend tournament at Ibrox involving Manchester United, Rangers and Sampdoria, did not cost a small fortune.

A mere pounds 425,000 was required to prise left-back Drysdale from Watford while Guppy, a winger, was snapped up from Wycombe for a trifling pounds 150,000. 'The fees are not large by today's standards,' Kevin Keegan, their manager, said, 'but both have the qualities to shortly be pushing for a first-team place.'

Everton completed the signing of Tottenham's Vinny Samways for pounds 2.2m yesterday, although even that sum for a player who, at 25, has yet to appear in a senior England squad, could not guarantee a move without mishaps.

A press conference was called at Goodison for a 2.30pm signing but pen did not make contact with paper until two and a half hours later. 'There is a slight hitch,' Peter Johnson, the newly installed Everton chairman, said, and that complication was only resolved after a telephone call was made to Alan Sugar, Johnson's Tottenham counterpart holidaying on his boat in the Mediterranean.

The delay was caused because Sugar had gone ashore, but speculation that he was in Florence to secure the services of Stefan Effenberg, proved groundless. The abrasive Fiorentina midfield player, who was ejected from the German World Cup squad for making an obscene gesture at jeering fans, is to join the Bundesliga, , where Werder Bremen and Borussia Monchengladbach are his most likely employers.

Another controversial midfielder, Mickey Thomas, had his future more definitely mapped out when he joined Inter Cardiff yesterday. The 40-year-old former Manchester United and Everton player has been signed with Tuesday's Uefa Cup tie against Poland's Katowice in mind.

Celtic drew 2-2 draw with Flamengo at Hampden Park last night in a match marred by a 65th-minute brawl which saw the dismissal of the Brazilian side's defender, Marcal. Two goals from Andy Walker gave Celtic the lead after Savio had scored from a free-kick, Baiano equalising 11 minutes from time.

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