Football: Spurs offer pounds 5m plus a player for Ravanelli

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The Independent Online
Fabrizio Ravanelli, who has become a pounds 7m millstone around Middlesbrough's neck, could be on his way to Tottenham .

The 28-year-old Italian striker with a flair for flamboyant goals and exorbitant wage demands is the subject of a pounds 5m bid by Spurs. The Premiership club are also prepared to sweeten the deal by offering Ruel Fox or Chris Armstrong as well as cash.

Middlesbrough invited offers after the failure of Ravanelli to agree terms with Everton or secure a move back to Italy. He met the Boro chairman, Steve Gibson, on a flying visit to Teesside yesterday, only hours after the club's manager, Bryan Robson, had stated that the man who scored 31 goals last season during his team's vain attempt to avoid relegation had put any thoughts of buying new players on hold.

"I won't move into the transfer market until the Ravanelli situation is sorted out," said Robson, who has made it clear that he does not want the former Juventus forward to train with his first-team squad.

Spurs see Ravanelli as the player with the skills to lift them out of a disappointing start to the season, which has not been helped by a worrying injury to Les Ferdinand, their pounds 6m summer signing from Newcastle United.

The outcome will again depend on Ravanelli's salary. His reported pounds 40,000 a week at Boro is unlikely to be matched by Spurs, but they may be prepared to shell out pounds 30,000 a week. A severance payment from Boro would also soften the financial blow for the grey-haired "White Feather".

Across London, West Ham have set their sights a little lower, with a pounds 1.5m move for Dele Adebola, the 22-year-old Crewe Alexandra striker.

The Liverpool-born Adebola has made his mark in the First Division this season and Crewe would be unwise to reject the Hammers' bid, because the 6ft 3in front-runner will be out of contract at the end of the season.

If he leaves, Adebola will become the third Crewe player to step into the Premier League in the last couple of months. Danny Murphy has already made first-team appearances at Liverpool since a pounds 1.5m switch, while Robbie Savage went to Leicester for pounds 750,000.

Carlton Palmer yesterday completed a pounds 1m move to Southampton from Leeds United. But the former England midfielder's transfer came too late for him to face his old club at The Dell tonight. The 31-year-old Palmer cost Leeds pounds 2.6m from Sheffield Wednesday in 1994.

Howard Kendall has made a player-plus-cash offer to Manchester City for Uwe Rosler. The Everton manager is willing to let defender Earl Barrett go to Maine Road and also hand over pounds 500,000 for the transfer-listed German striker.

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