Football: Sheringham's snub to pounds 4m

Gerry Francis, the Tottenham Hotspur manager, yesterday said he was disappointed that Teddy Sheringham had decided to leave after rejecting a four-year-contract that would have earned the striker pounds 1m a year.

As details emerged from Spurs of the talks that ended with the England forward, who still has two seasons of his contract to run, asking for a transfer, Francis said: "It is very disappointing that negotiations have broken down. The club have tried very hard to agree something with Teddy.

"We didn't have to offer him anything, but obviously a four-year deal was not enough."

According to Tottenham, the 31-year-old Sheringham, who could now end up partnering his England co-striker, Alan Shearer, at Newcastle United, wanted a five-year deal which would have qualified him for a 10-year testimonial.

The Spurs chairman, Alan Sugar, was reluctant to commit the club to paying a 36-year-old player a pounds 1m salary, so Sheringham asked for time to consider. When Sugar had received no reply after 48 hours, he scrapped the offer and replaced it with a three-year deal.

Sheringham, who had "done what I had to do" after Sugar's action, also cited Spurs lack of success as a factor in his decision to move on

Arsene Wenger returned to Monaco yesterday to take two of his former players to Highbury. Arsenal are understood to have paid pounds 5m for the left- flank man Emmanuel Petit and the central defender Gilles Grimandi, who are both 26.

The versatile Petit, who has won 15 caps for France but is out of the current reckoning, can play at the back or in midfield. The pair played prominent roles when Monaco put Newcastle out of the Uefa Cup quarter- finals in March.

Martin O'Neill has closed the door on any approach from managerless Everton by signing a new three-year contract at Leicester City. The 45-year-old O'Neill, who joined Leicester 18 months ago and led them to promotion to the Premiership via the play-offs, is now free of distractions as he prepares to take his Coca-Cola Cup winners into Europe.

Nottingham Forest have completed the signing of the Watford goalkeeper Kevin Miller, whose fee will be decided by a tribunal. Forest have lost Alf Inge Haland to Leeds United. The Norwegian midfielder will report to Elland Road next week when he returns from international duty. Haland is out of contract and, if football's governing bodies decide to extend the Bosman ruling to domestic transfers, Leeds may get him for free, although Forest want pounds 2m.

Burnley have signed the Dutch defender Marco Gentile, 28, from MVV Maastricht on a free transfer.

The Football Association is to hold an inquiry a week today into last season's Second Division match between Chesterfield and Plymouth Argyle, when five players were sent off. Both clubs were charged with misconduct and failure to control their players, but the hearing was delayed because of Chesterfield's FA Cup run, which took them to the semi-finals.

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