Football: Rovers cultivate Flowers' interest

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The Independent Online
ALTHOUGH a deal is unlikely to be completed before the weekend programme of Premiership matches, Tim Flowers seems to be on his way to Ewood Park rather than Anfield, writes Rupert Metcalf.

Not for the first time, the spending power enjoyed by Blackburn Rovers is likely to prove decisive. Kenny Dalglish, their manager, has increased his bid for Southampton's England international goalkeeper to pounds 2.4m. 'Tim Flowers is an outstanding player, but it will be too much money for us,' was the response from Graeme Souness, the Liverpool manager.

However, Flowers will not be leaving The Dell until Southampton have secured a replacement. Ian Branfoot, the Saints' manager, said: 'Sorry Blackburn, sorry Tim - but there is no deal until it is right for us.' Branfoot is pursuing Aston Villa's Nigel Spink and Tottenham's Ian Walker.

The supporters of Celtic are still waiting to welcome Lou Macari to Parkhead as their new manager. Although Celtic have been given permission by Stoke City, Macari's current employers, to approach their former player, financial negotiations are far from settled.

Mark Bosnich, Aston Villa's goalkeeper, has elected to play for Australia in their forthcoming World Cup qualifiers against Argentina. 'He knows the consequences. If he loses his first-team place, he will have to fight to get it back,' Ron Atkinson, Villa's manager, said.

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