The Everton striker Duncan Ferguson has been offered a pay-off to leave Goodison Park now in order to give the club a chance of keeping Wayne Rooney.
Ferguson is due around £2m in wages on the last year of his contract, but could collect about £500,000 immediately as a golden handshake. Everton hope that the Scottish striker will accept the money and leave to reduce their huge payroll, while Ferguson could compensate for his loss in salary by quickly finding another team.
The Everton manager, David Moyes, has found Ferguson's wages a worry since he came to the club and it has become a major concern again this summer as Everton try to find the cash to keep their other players happy.
Rooney has been offered a £12.5m five-year deal, which will be discussed in the next few days with his advisers. But Everton need Ferguson to leave if they are to afford that salary package.
Everton received some good news yesterday when they heard that the plaster cast has been removed from Rooney's right foot. It means the England striker's rehabilitation programme remains firmly on course.
Rooney has been back with the medical team at Bellefield this week just a fortnight after fracturing his fifth metatarsal while playing for England in their Euro 2004 quarter-final tie with Portugal.
The 18-year-old's situation will continue to be monitored to ensure that the break is healing correctly and that there are no complications.
The club were surprised by Tomasz Radzinski's decision to reject a new three-year deal. The Canada international still has 12 months left to run on his contract after joining the club for £4.5m from Anderlecht in 2001. The 30-year-old recently had a transfer request rejected after turning down a one-year extension to his stay at Goodison Park.
Newcastle United have made a cut-price £1m offer for the Tottenham captain, Stephen Carr. The low bid is because the Republic of Ireland right-back is entering the final year of his contract. Spurs are looking for £3m, but may be prepared to drop to £2.5m.
While Carr could be on his way to Newcastle, Lomano LuaLua looks set to leave. The West Bromwich Albion manager, Gary Megson, is trying to sign the striker in a £2m deal. Megson tabled his offer yesterday and hopes to speak to the extrovert striker today.
LuaLua knows his time is up at Newcastle but wanted to go back to Portsmouth where he had a successful loan spell. However, Portsmouth have not offered enough and now West Brom have met the valuation that Newcastle have placed on the player.
The Bolton Wanderers manager, Sam Allardyce, has declared an interest in securing the veteran defender Fernando Hierro.
The former Spain and Real Madrid player, now 36, is looking for a new club after a season in Qatar.
Allardyce confirmed: "I am interested in Fernando Hierro." The Bolton manager has already recruited one defender this week, the Tunisian international Radhi Jaidi, in a two-year deal.
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