Football: Spurs move for Israeli full-back

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The Independent Online
TOTTENHAM HAVE beaten off the challenge of Aston Villa to sign the Israeli international Najuan Grayev for pounds 1m, subject to a medical and work permit. The 25-year-old Hapoel Haifa left-back is expected to join up with his new team-mates for pre-season training.

A Spurs spokesman said: "Subject to a medical and work permit, Tottenham Hotspur have agreed in principal to sign the Israeli international full- back Najuan Grayev. "Aston Villa were expected to sign the 25-year-old but we moved quickly to complete a pounds 1m deal and, if everything goes satisfactorily, Najuan will join the club in readiness for pre-season training."

Liverpool confirmed yesterday that they will open contract talks with the Marseilles striker Titi Camara in the next 48 hours, but denied reports from France that they have completed a pounds 7m deal to bring the Czech winger Vladimir Smicer to Anfield from Lens.

A Liverpool club spokesman said yesterday: "To say we have already signed Smicer is just not true. We can categorically deny it."

The club are, however, in negotiations with Lens over the player, who has expressed a desire to move to Anfield. The dispute is over the size of any fee. Smicer is a friend of the Liverpool player Patrik Berger, and were both in the Czech Republic side that reached the final of Euro 96 in England before losing to Germany.

One deal that looks certain this week is for the Guinean striker Camara with the spokesman adding: "We have been given permission by Marseilles to talk to the player." The 27-year-old former Lens striker will cost around pounds 2m.

Liverpool's England striker Robbie Fowler has also been named as a pounds 12m target of the Spanish side Valencia, who are reputed to be chasing the banned forward along with Real Betis and Deportivo La Coruna. The assumption in Spain is that Fowler would want to follow his friend Steve McManaman, who joins Real Madrid in the summer.

Bradford's plans to throw open Valley Parade for a live broadcast of their crunch promotion showdown against Wolves on Sunday have been blocked by Sky. The satellite broadcaster are to screen the Molineux clash and Ipswich's Portman Road battle with Sheffield United simultaneously, with the two games deciding who joins Sunderland in the Premiership next season.

The Bradford chairman Geoffrey Richmond had requested for the match to be beamed back to Valley Parade after the club sold out their 3,000-ticket allocation in just four hours.