Football: Teenager Barry's lucrative new deal

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The Independent Online
GARETH BARRY is to be offered a new five-year contract by Aston Villa that could earn him up to half a million pounds a year. The 17- year-old, who has earned a regular place in the Villa side recently, plus a first England Under-21 cap against the Czech Republic last week, would earn pounds 2,500 a week, plus pounds 7,500 every time he appears for Villa.

"It is better, considering his age, to gear his contract to heavy incentives," Barry's manager, John Gregory, said. "He's not 18 until February and there's always a danger of paying him too much money."

Tottenham are considering increasing their pounds 4m bid for the West Ham midfielder Frank Lampard. The Hammers' manager, Harry Redknapp, already upset at having to sell Andy Impey to Leicester for financial reasons, said he turned down the offer "in 10 seconds flat". Tottenham's director of football, David Pleat, said yesterday: "A bid was made and we're discussing the situation further."

The Welsh international striker Gareth Taylor has completed his pounds 400,000 move from Sheffield United to Manchester City and will make his debut at Luton tomorrow.

The Aberdeen manager, Alex Miller, yesterday used the proceeds from the sale of Craig Hignett to sign the Bradford City midfielder Nigel Pepper for pounds 300,000. The 30-year-old goes straight into the squad for tomorrow's home game with Dundee United after signing a two-and-a-half year deal.

Joey Beauchamp was undergoing a medical last night before joining Southampton for an undisclosed fee from Oxford United. If all is well the 27-year- old midfielder could make his debut for Saints in tomorrow's game with Derby at The Dell.

Huddersfield Town are trying to sign the midfielder Graham Hyde from Sheffield Wednesday in a pounds 500,000 deal.

The Fifa president, Sepp Blatter, reaffirmed his support for an African bid to host the 2006 World Cup finals when he met South Africa's president, Nelson Mandela, yesterday.

"It is logical that the World Cup finals goes to Africa in 2006 and, if they can prove they can organise it, then I will back it 100 per cent," Blatter said, after awarding Mandela with the Fifa Order of Merit.

Marko Viduka's Celtic debut, pencilled in for tomorrow's game against Motherwell, may still be held up. The pounds 3m signing from Croatia Zagreb is still waiting for a work permit from the Department for Employment and Education.