Moyes to remain at Preston

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The Independent Football

David Moyes has rejected Southampton's offer to become the Premiership club's new manager, opting instead to remain at First Division Preston North End.

In a move which is certain to embarrass the Saints, the 38-year-old Scot last night rejected the chance to move up a division because he felt the south coast club would not provide significantly more financial backing in the transfer market than he already has at Preston.

It is a coup for the Deepdale club, which Moyes guided to the verge of the Premiership last season before losing to Bolton Wanderers in the First Division play-off final. Moyes was offered the job at Southampton last weekend by the chairman, Rupert Lowe, and it was widely expected that he would accept.

However, the small transfer budget played a big part in his decision to stand by Preston. Moyes is ambitious but feels his chances of progress remain better served with the Lancashire club. Preston may reward Moyes with sufficient funds to buy three or four players for next season's campaign.

Southampton, however, are back to square one in their quest to replace Glenn Hoddle. A leading candidate is Brighton's Micky Adams.

Ray Graydon, the manager of Walsall, last night agreed a new contract at the Bescot stadium, described by the club as a "long-term deal", thereby quashing reports linking him with the vacancy at Southampton.

The striker Dean Holdsworth has quashed speculation over his future by signing a new two-year contract at newly-promoted Bolton. The 32-year-old, signed from Wimbledon for £3.5m in 1997, turned down offers from home and abroad to be part of Wanderers' return to the top flight.

Tommy Mooney, Watford's out-of-contract striker, has accepted Birmingham's offer of a three-year contract in preference to joining Everton or Nottingham Forest. Birmingham, who last week lodged a club-record bid of £4.5m for West Bromwich Albion's Lee Hughes, also hope to sign the Huddersfield keeper, Nico Vaesen, and Chris Bart-Williams, the Forest utility player.