Football: Wenger ends the big spend

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The Independent Online
Arsene Wenger will not be buying any more players for Arsenal before the start of the season. "I think we have a strong squad and we have the potential to do well," he said yesterday.

The Arsenal manager made his comment after confirming that he had been put off signing the England wing-back Graeme Le Saux by Blackburn's pounds 7.5million asking price.

"The price was too high," Wenger said. "I do not know what he is worth but I think even Le Saux would agree that the price is too high."

Crystal Palace have completed the signing of the Italian international Attilio Lombardo for around pounds 1.6m. The Palace manager, Steve Coppell, confirmed the winger will move from the Serie A champions, Juventus, subject to a medical.

Coppell added that both Juventus and the 31-year-old Lombardo had reduced their demands, over the fee and personal terms respectively, to facilitate the deal. Lombardo could play in their first Premiership match at Everton a week today.

Coppell said: "He's a top international player who is very flexible and will give us that little bit of class, that little bit of guile, we may have been missing." The former England midfielder Ray Wilkins has joined Palace, as assistant first team coach.

Derby County took the number of foreign players in their ranks into double figures yesterday when the 29-year-old Italian forward, Francesco Baiano, completed his pounds 650,000 move from Fiorentina and signed a three-year deal.

Swindon are giving trials to Philippe Cuervo, a 28-year-old midfielder from the French club St Etienne and Bernard Tchoutang, a 21-year-old Cameroon international striker who has been playing in Turkey.

Tranmere Rovers have signed the 31-year-old Republic of Ireland striker David Kelly from their First Division rivals Sunderland for pounds 350,000. The Birkenhead club have sold the former Scottish international winger Pat Nevin to Kilmarnock for pounds 60,000. The former Chelsea and Everton winger has signed a three-year deal at Rugby Park.

Brentford have been taken over by a consortium which includes their manager, David Webb. The new owners take over from the outgoing chairman Martin Lange, who has stepped down after 16 years. The new chairman is Tony Swaisland, a life-long Bees' fan.

Dundee United were given difficult opponents in the preliminary round of the Uefa Cup when the draw was made in Geneva yesterday. They will visit Trabzonspor of Turkey for the first leg on 12 August, with the return game at Tannadice Park two weeks later. Celtic also travel for their opening match, after being drawn against the Austrian side Tirol Innsbruck.

Uefa Cup draw, Digest, page 27

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