Crouch linked with move to Villa

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The Independent Football

Aston Villa fans may find it hard to keep track of who's coming or going as Graham Taylor attempts to tune up the Birmingham side to be a force next season. On Taylor's shopping list, according to the Sunday Mirror, are the £2m-rated Crystal Palace goalkeeper Kelvin Davis and £2.5m midfielder Hayden Mullins, while the News of the World reports that FC Copenhagen's South African striker Sibusiso Zuma is a £5m target for the former England manager.

The Sunday People, however, suggests the Portsmouth striker Peter Crouch will be Taylor's first signing, with a £5m swoop lined up for the 6ft 6in player in the summer. The same report says Villa are confident Dwight Yorke will return from Manchester United in the close season in another £5m deal and names the Millwall midfielder Tim Cahill as another potential buy.

Meanwhile, the Sunday Express says Villa's out-of-favour midfielder Ian Taylor is poised to join former manager John Gregory at Derby for £500,000 on transfer deadline day, while the Mirror says Blackburn want to add the winger Steve Stone to their squad, but reckons that manager Graeme Souness wants to pay only £1.5m, compared with an asking price of £3m.

The People says Leicester's Muzzy Izzet will be able to chose from Sunderland, Middlesbrough and Celtic when he leaves the doomed Premiership side. But if he decides on a Parkhead reunion with Martin O'Neill he may find ex-Filbert Street chum Neil Lennon has left, according to the Mirror, which reckons the Northern Ireland international is so sick of sectarian abuse he wants to return to England, with Leeds tipped for a £7m deal.

Fulham and Chelsea are named by the News of the World as possible rivals for the signature of Gabriel Batistuta as the Argentinian seeks a move to the Premiership. A mooted £4m fee would seem like small change, however, if there is truth in the same paper's suggestion that Manchester United are considering spending £30m on Batistuta's Roma team-mate Vincenzo Montella. The same report says United are close to landing the Argentinian centre-back Roberto Ayala for £12m from Valencia.

United could spend another £10m on the Sunderland goalkeeper Thomas Sorensen, according to the Mirror, which names Arsenal and Barcelona as other possible bidders for the Dane, who reportedly wants to leave the Stadium of Light. Both the Mirror and News of the World believe the winger Quinton Fortune is heading out of Old Trafford, either to Middlesbrough or Ipswich. Also leaving Roma, suggests the News of the World, is the French defender Jonathan Zebina, possibly in a £7m switch to Liverpool.

Tottenham are reviving their South American connection, the Express reports. It says Glenn Hoddle wants the 21-year-old Argentinos Juniors defender Ariel Seltzer and the 20-year-old Estudiantes striker Mariano Pavore. The People, meanwhile, reckons Spurs are on the trail of the 17-year-old Peruvian striker Gianfranco Labarthe, but face competition from Bayern Munich. Closer to home, the Derby defender Danny Higginbotham has caught Hoddle's eye, according to the Mirror, which also predicts a £3m bid from West Ham for the Tottenham defender Ben Thatcher.

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