'Robson targets forest's £3.5m midfielder Williams'

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The Independent Online

While the News of the World claims Bobby Robson will demand £20m for new talent in talks with the Newcastle chairman, Freddy Shepherd, this week, others reckon the Tyneside manager's spending plans are already well advanced.

The Sunday Mirror says Robson wants Nottingham Forest's £3.5m-rated midfielder Gareth Williams, while the Sunday Express believes Charlton's England Under-21 defender Paul Konchesky will join Newcastle for £5m "in the next 48 hours." The Sunday People names Arsenal's 35-year-old centre back Martin Keown, who has not been offered a new contract at Highbury, as another target.

Aston Villa are also set for a wide-ranging transfer splash, reported by the People to have made a £3m bid for Millwall's Republic of Ireland midfielder Steve Reid and be keen to spend a further £3m on Coventry's David Thompson. The Mirror links Graham Taylor with summer moves for Tottenham's Tim Sherwood and the 19-year-old Grimsby centre back Simon Ford. The Mirror says Everton are trying to land Thompson for £2.75m, pipping Villa and Manchester City, also linking Southampton with the former Liverpool player.

Everton are set to land the Rochdale striker Lee McEvilly for £500,000 according to the People, while the News of the World says manager David Moyes has set his sights on Leicester duo Ian Walker (£3m) and Robbie Savage (£5m) and is ready to offload strikers Kevin Campbell and Tomasz Radzinski for £5m to raise cash.

Chelsea have identified the Italian striker Massimo Maccarone as their long-term replacement for Gianfranco Zola, according to the Sunday Express, hoping that the Italian contingent at Stamford Bridge will tempt the Empoli player to make a £7m move, although Tottenham and Manchester City are also interested. The News of the World says the Derby defender Chris Riggott is a possible £7m target for City, while the Rams are interested in City's Steve Howey. The Mirror, however, says the City manager, Kevin Keegan, is in a £5m battle with Tottenham for Derby's Danny Higginbotham. The People reports interest from Maine Road in Leicester's Robbie Savage.

The News of the World predicts a £4m move to West Ham for the Ipswich striker Marcus Bent in a Portman Road clear-out, while the People says the Hammers boss, Glenn Roeder, is closing in on Bolton's Michael Ricketts and Leicester's Muzzy Izzet. The Mirror reckons West Ham may be hit with a £10m bid from Arsenal for the striker Jermain Defoe despite attempts to warn off the Gunners and says Roeder has told Liverpool that the midfielder Michael Carrick is not for sale. In another News of the World report, West Ham are linked with a £2m move for Leeds goalkeeper Nigel Martyn while listening to interest from Lazio in David James. The Mirror suggests Manchester United may revive their interest in West Ham's Paolo di Canio, also a target for Italian surprise package Chievo. According to the Express, United are also making a £4m bid for the Derby keeper, Mart Poom.

DIFFERENCES OF OPINION

News of the World

Sir Alex Ferguson will focus his attention on Valencia's Roberto Ayala in his bid to replace Laurent Blanc and Ronny Johnsen after being snubbed by Fabio Cannavaro, who has agreed a £25m move from Parma to Milan, Lazio's Alessandro Nesta and PSV Eindhoven's Kevin Hofland.

Sunday People

Lilian Thuram will become a Manchester United player this summer in a £16.6m switch from Juventus to Old Trafford. United have told Thuram he will be their main centre back, possibly alongside Laurent Blanc.

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