Liverpool are understood to want pounds 2m for the 29-year-old England international, who was converted into a midfielder after leaving City for Tottenham Hotspur five years ago. Peter Reid, the City manager, said: 'I hope a deal can be finalised as soon as possible. I'd like Paul to join us on our pre- season trip to Holland next week.'
The French league's disciplinary committee has decided not to wait for the result of the judicial investigation into the bribery allegations against Marseille and will meet on Monday to decide whether to sanction the European champions.
'The disciplinary committe might have to hear players and officials and will make a decision within a fortnight,' a spokesman said.
On the eve of the new French league season (Marseille open the defence of their title against Lens), Bernard Tapie, the club president, was in excitable mood, allegedly assaulting a television crew and throwing their camera into the sea at the Mediterranean port of Hyeres as they attempted to film him and the club's general-secretary, Jean- Pierre Bernes, aboard his yacht. France-3 TV said it would sue Tapie for assault and criminal damage.
English football is receiving a much-needed fillip from the exploits of its junior international squads. In June the Under-21 team carried off the prestigious Toulon tournament and tomorrow the Under-18 side endeavour to follow suit by winning the final of the European youth championship against Turkey at the City Ground, Nottingham.
A tour match between Manchester United and Arsenal, which will probably feature Roy Keane's debut for the former, in South Africa tomorrow will be shown live in some ITV regions after the Football Association dropped its objection to coverage. The two clubs are due to meet again in the FA Charity Shield at Wembley on 7 August.
West Ham have refused to discount the prospect of defender Simon Webster playing during the coming season after a tackle by Julian Dicks in training left the player with his leg broken in two places. Webster, signed during the summer from Charlton Athletic for pounds 525,000, broke the same leg in two places playing for Sheffield United five years ago, and Billy Bonds, the Upton Park manager, has said he cannot afford a replacement.
The possible suspension of two international goalkeepers - in one case self-imposed - is causing their managers concern. Neville Southall's announcement that he may decide to put his family before playing for Wales in the World Cup finals next year - should they qualify - caught Terry Yorath, his international manager, on the hop.
'It's news to me,' he said. 'I can't believe that Nev would pass up on the chance of going to the States. I'll have a word with him next week when he gets back from a tour of Switzerland.'
Meanwhile Tim Flowers, the new England goalkeeper, is in danger of being suspended for Southampton's opening match of the season after being sent off for a handball offence during a friendly at Kalmar, Sweden. Last season Francis Benali missed the opening game, also after being dismissed in Sweden.
'If Tim gets suspended I would doubt very much whether we would come back for another pre-season tour,' Ian Branfoot, his manager, said.