Football: Sugar sweetens pot for Graham

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The Independent Online
GEORGE GRAHAM will be offered a large six-figure signing-on fee as part of a lucrative package to entice him from Leeds United to Tottenham.

Graham can pick up a "golden hello" from struggling Spurs if he decides to move to them from Elland Road. The figure may approach pounds 750,000 and be paid tax-free and in advance.

Spurs made an official faxed approach yesterday and were rejected, but will try to invoke a clause in Graham's contract that allows him to talk to another club if they pay compensation.

The Tottenham chairman, Alan Sugar, is prepared to fork out the pounds 1m "transfer fee" for Graham and hand him a huge up-front cheque to take charge at White Hart Lane. Leeds are threatening to seek more money, but that may have to be settled legally. Graham can also collect a salary of about pounds 800,000 a year and is bound to be interested in a move to London to be near family and friends.

Leeds are waiting anxiously for the next step, but those close to Graham believe he will ask for permission to speak to Spurs. The switch could even go through this week.

Graham has been making his excuses to leave for the past fortnight, citing a lack of transfer funds as a major problem. He is also aware that the current team are unlikely to better last season's performance when they qualified for Europe.

The question of how much money is available to spend at Spurs is still to be addressed, but the personal terms should tempt a man who has always known the value of a bawbee.