Football: Spurs face lawsuit

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The Independent Online
TOTTENHAM HOTSPUR are facing the threat of a pounds 2m law suit from the Israeli club Hapoel Haifa for pulling out of signing their left-back Najuan Gariev, writes Alan Nixon.

Spurs are trying to cancel the deal that was taking Gariev to White Hart Lane for around pounds 1.5m, but Hapoel are threatening legal action and will also ask Fifa, the game's world governing body, to intervene.

Tottenham claim that Gariev had failed a medical on a knee injury. The Arab defender had already agreed a lucrative contract worth pounds 10,000 a week, signed after an initial medical, and has had a work permit granted. However, Spurs then put him through a second medical, claimed the insurance company was unhappy, and started to try to find ways of returning the international defender to Israel.

Fifa are likely to back Gariev and Hapoel as there is no longer a rule that deals are done subject to a medical.

Everton have turned down a pounds 2.5m offer for Nick Barmby from Celtic. The Toffees' manager, Walter Smith, wants pounds 4.5m to part with the striker.

Celtic may increase their offer for Barmby but they are also looking at alternatives. Smith also is contemplating two more potential sales. John Oster is wanted by Sunderland, who have offered around pounds 500,000 for the winger, and the striker Michael Branch is wanted by Portsmouth.

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