Tottenham join race for Italy's Maccarone

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The Independent Online

Despite continuing speculation linking Sunderland's Kevin Phillips with a summer move to White Hart Lane, the News of the World links Tottenham with an £11m swoop for Italy's new star, Massimo Maccarone, although competition for the Serie B striker is likely to be hot, at home and abroad. The Sunday Mirror reckons Chelsea are also in the running for the Empoli player, who made his Italy debut against England at Elland Road, although it puts the asking price at £7m.

The Mirror names Fulham's Louis Saha as a possible £5m replacement should Phillips leave the Stadium of Light, while linking Chelsea with two Premiership players, the Villa midfielder Lee Hendrie and Newcastle's French winger Laurent Robert. It says the Stamford Bridge manager Claudio Ranieri wants to link Hendrie with Frank Lampard in midfield and is prepared to offload Emmanuel Petit to Marseille for £5m. In another report, the Mirror says the former Villa manager John Gregory wants Hendrie at Derby, although he will need to sell goalkeeper Mart Poom to raise the cash. The Mirror also predicts a Villa clear-out involving Paul Merson, Hendrie, Peter Schmeichel, Steve Stone, Alan Wright and Hassan Kachloul. The same paper also reports three possible incoming transfers at Villa Park involving the Wimbledon pair Lionel Morgan and Kelvin Davis plus the Crewe striker Dean Ashton.

Merson could be a target for Manchester City, according to the News of the World, while the People says the newly crowned First Division champions could splash £12m on the Leeds striker Robbie Keane and the Ipswich midfielder Matt Holland.

The Sunday People says Tottenham have joined Juventus and Bayern Munich in pursuit of the £8.5m-rated Egyptian striker Mohamed El Yamani, currently with the Belgian club, Standard Liège.

Liverpool, the News of the World says, are ready to part with the midfielder Danny Murphy, who has yet to be approached about a new contract, and may lose Jari Litmanen to Benfica, the Finn is growing increasingly fed up over his failure to command a regular starting spot. The Mirror says Nick Barmby could be another to leave Anfield, with a possible £6m return to Tottenham in the offing.

The People says Valencia and Real Betis are considering £5m bids for Arsenal striker Kanu, while the Mirror reckons Chelsea's Eidur Gudjohnsen and West Ham's Jermain Defoe appeal to manager Arsène Wenger as potential replacements for the Nigerian and for Dennis Bergkamp. The News of the World, meanwhile, believes Patrick Vieira will keep his North London employers dangling until after the World Cup, by which time Real Madrid may have appointed a new coach.

DIFFERENCES OF OPINION

NEWS OF THE WORLD

Jean Tigana will face the sack if Fulham fail to save their season by winning the F A Cup. He is under fire from chairman Mohamed Al Fayed, who is said to be "very disappointed at the way the team has performed in the Premiership".

SUNDAY EXPRESS

Jean Tigana has told some of his players he is prepared to quit if he is unable to arrest Fulham's worrying slide down the Premiership table. That would be a massive blow to owner Mohamed Al Fayed, who has backed Tigana to help him realise his dream of seeing Fulham among the Premiership élite.

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