Football: Rangers let Stevens join Merseyside exodus: Former England full-back mulls over move to Tranmere

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(First Edition)

GARY STEVENS, the former Everton and England right-back, yesterday moved a step nearer a return to Merseyside when Rangers agreed a price of pounds 350,000 for his transfer to Tranmere Rovers.

Stevens, who has been on loan at Prenton Park for the past fortnight, must first settle personal terms with the First Division club for the deal to go through.

Walter Smith, the Rangers manager, also stressed yesterday that while Ian Durrant's pounds 1.5m move to Everton at the end of a one-month loan spell will go ahead, Duncan Ferguson will be returning to Ibrox after his loan spell with Everton.

Smith added an Everton return for Trevor Steven has not been ruled out. The midfielder is back in training after a calf injury and should be ready for a comeback match early next week.

One pounds 350,000 deal that was rubber-stamped yesterday involved Peter Butler, the 28-year-old midfield player, leaving West Ham to join Notts County's struggle at the foot of the First Division.

Arsenal will play the first leg of their European Cup-Winners' Cup second-round tie against Brondby in Denmark on 20 October after a plea to Uefa over potential trouble among travelling fans.

Arsenal, the holders, were originally drawn at home in the first leg but that meant the return game, just outside Copenhagen, would clash with the visit of their London rivals Chelsea to Vienna for their second leg match against FK Austria Memphis on the same night.

Arsenal's managing director, Ken Friar, said yesterday: 'Happily, we have had a fax from Uefa today agreeing to our suggestion that our matches against Brondby be switched. We will now play the second leg at home on 3 November.

'It made no sense at all that two sets of fans from London should be travelling into Europe on the same day and taking almost identical routes for most of the way.'

Chelsea, meanwhile, admit they are 'not happy' about having to play their first leg game at home when the original Cup-Winners' Cup draw designated them as the away team.

But Doug Johnson, the Stamford Bridge stadium manager, said: 'It is just something we have had to accept, although you always want to play the away leg first.

'The problem is that for big matches in Vienna our opponents share the Austrian national stadium with Salzburg, who have a European Champions' League game there against Ajax of Amsterdam on the night before our match.

'Uefa ordered Memphis and ourselves to switch venues because it was felt the same ground could not be expected to take two major games on successive days.'

The Arsenal striker Ian Wright has dodged a three-match suspension after the Football Association confirmed yesterday his booking in Saturday's defeat by Crystal Palace was worth only three points on the disciplinary scale.

But he is out of the Gunners' Coca-Cola Cup second round, second leg against Hartlepool of the Third Division at Highbury tonight, despite having an injection to ease the discomfort of a foot injury.

The Swedish midfielder Stefan Schwarz also drops out to protect a knee wound that required stitches after the Palace game. Steve Bould is in line to return at centre-back.

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