Football: Saints are hoping to catch `the Train'

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THE SOUTHAMPTON manager, Dave Jones, flew in the Colombian World Cup striker Adolfo Valencia for transfer talks last night.

Valencia, known as "The Train", could be snapped up by the Saints for a knock-down fee from his club in Bogota, Independiente Santa Fe, but Jones wants to see him in training first. The 30-year-old has won over 60 caps for Colombia and wore the No 9 jersey at the World Cup finals in France, so he would qualify for a work permit.

Valencia wants to cash in with a move to Europe after spending most of his career in South America, although he had a spell with Bayern Munich in Germany. He has a reputation as a skilful goalscorer.

Jones has been forced to look abroad by excessive domestic prices. He will also make a decision on the Peruvian striker, Waldir Perez, in the next 24 hours.

Perez, 25, is rated at pounds 2.5m by his club Alianza Lima. He does not need a work permit because he has an EU passport.

Steve McManaman will play a match today for the first time in six weeks. The Liverpool and England forward, who has rested a nagging Achilles tendon injury since early November, will play in a specially arranged practice game against Bradford City at the Anfield club's Melwood training complex.

The German Bundesliga club TSV 1860 Munich have denied reports that they are interested in signing Liverpool's unsettled former German international striker, Karlheinz Riedle.

The 27-year-old German goalkeeper Stefan Klos is expected to arrive in Glasgow today to finalise the details of his protracted pounds 700,000 move to Rangers from Borussia Dortmund.

Rangers are also expected to tie up the pounds 100,000 signing of the Northern Ireland Under-21 international midfielder Lee Feeney from Linfield later this week.

Port Vale yesterday completed the pounds 175,000 signing of Tony Rougier, the Hibernian winger, but anticipate problems securing a work permit in time for the Trinidad and Tobago international to play over Christmas or in the FA Cup tie with Liverpool.

The former England striker Mark Hateley, who was dismissed by Hull City earlier this season, has confirmed he is talking over a possible return to management with the Scottish League club St Mirren, who sacked their manager, Tony Fitzpatrick, last week.

There are fears that the special influence enjoyed within world football by the four home nations may be under threat. Since the end of the Second World War, England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland have been guaranteed the exclusive right to nominate a Fifa vice-president between them. But that privilege now seems likely to be challenged, due to the allegations of corruption aimed at the Football Association's chairman, Keith Wiseman.

A motion calling for the end to that right is set to be debated at special congress of football's world governing body in Los Angeles in July next year. Scotland's David Will is currently the home nations' Fifa vice-president.