Globetrotter Gregory in Derby poser

Press Watch
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The Mail on Sunday supports the Sunday Mirror's assertion that John Gregory will be offered the vacant manager's position at Derby this week, although they put the club's "keep us in the Premiership" bonus offer at £1m, on top of an £800,000-a-year contract. The News of the World claims he will decide over the next 72 hours whether to accept Derby's offer and quotes George Graham's agent, Steve Kutner, as saying the former Arsenal, Leeds and Tottenham manager would be "very interested" in the Villa job if the club cares to give him a call.

Incidentally, while the Mail mentions that Gregory flew to New York after quitting Villa, the News of the World places him currently in Spain.

The Sunday Express, meanwhile, says the sacked Walsall manager Ray Graydon is due to be interviewed for the Derby job and the Sunday People reckons goalkeeper Peter Schmeichel is the Villa players' choice as Gregory's successor, at least on a rest-of-season trial.

The Sunday Mirror reports that Sunderland's interest in Dwight Yorke has faltered since the Manchester United striker asked for £60,000-a-week and suggests Middlesbrough will not press ahead with their interest unless Yorke lowers his demands, despite agreeing a £6.25m price with United.

The People says United's interest in Paolo di Canio will end if Yorke is not sold – although a £2.5m offer for the Italian has been accepted by West Ham. Di Canio will be ineligible for the Champions' League if he does not sign by Thursday. The News of the World believes Middlesbrough are looking at Brighton's £4m-rated Bobby Zamora after Everton lost interest. The paper reports that the Goodison club are now interested in the Middlesbrough centre-back Gianluca Festa, while the People links Everton with a £2m offer for the Preston striker Jon Macken.

The People says Manchester United have dispatched Sir Alex's brother, Martin Ferguson, to make more checks on PSV Eindhoven's Dutch international defender Kevin Hofland, despite the Mail's suggestion that the £15m-rated star is leaning towards a move to Arsenal. The News of the World says River Plate's Andres D'Alessandro, dubbed the new Maradona, wants to join United despite interest from Internazionale and Juventus.

Opinions still differ over the progress of David Beckham's contract talks. While the Mirror says the England captain is holding out for £150,000-a-week, the Express reckons he has already agreed £85,000-a-week as a "playing contract" and is looking for about £20,000-a-week on top of that for image rights.

The People says Liverpool are so keen to land the Barcelona striker Patrick Kluivert at the end of the season they will pay up to £25m for the Dutchman. The News of the World, however, reckons the Anfield club faces a battle to keep defender Sami Hyppia with Internazionale prepared to offer the Finn £3 to £4m a year, as well as paying Liverpool £16m. The Express links the Milan club with a move for Chelsea's Eidur Gudjohnsen. Crystal Palace are linked with the Rochdale striker Kevin Townson (News of the World), Nottingham Forest's Stern John and Leicester's Ade Akinbiyi (The People).



John Gregory is poised to be unveiled as Derby's new manager this week. He has been offered a deal that includes a bonus of about £1.5m just to keep them up. Gregory made at least two mystery calls to a Derby director before he quit Villa Park.


John Gregory is poised to turn his back on the Premiership in an attempt to fulfil his ambition of managing a top Spanish club. Gregory, whose aims will alert Real Betis and Celta Vigo, is expected to delay any decision on taking over at Derby to see what he is offered in Spain.