Football rumours: Fact and action from the Sunday papers

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The Independent Online
Not for the first time, no one seems sure whether Middlesbrough really have reached the parting of the ways with Emerson. According to the Sunday Mirror, the Brazilian midfielder is on the brink of a pounds 4m move to Spanish club Tenerife, having been fined pounds 20,000 for failing to return to Teesside after a Christmas break in Rio. However, the People says he has no intention of signing for Tenerife and is seeking another reconciliation with Bryan Robson, having told members of his family he wants to stay at the Riverside.

Confusion also continues over the future of Everton's Gary Speed. The People says Sheffield Wednesday are willing to offer the Welshman a deal worth pounds 25,000-a-week to move from Goodison to Hillsborough, but the News of the World says he remains the No 1 target for Newcastle, who, they say, are ready to table a player-plus-cash offer worth pounds 12m to team up Manchester City's Georgi Kinkladze with his Georgian team-mate Temur Ketsbaia should Kenny Dalglish fail to land Speed.

Ian Rush is set to begin his managerial career with Preston North End, according to the Mirror, who claim he will team up with his former Liverpool colleague Ronnie Whelan, who already has experience as a manager, at Deepdale.

The Mirror also says that Ruud Gullit and Mark Hughes are close to signing new contracts with Chelsea, while the People reckons that West Ham's Iain Dowie is Ray Harford's target for a loan move to Queen's Park Rangers and that Fulham have joined the queue for Rangers' veteran Scottish international Ally McCoist.

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