Fulham break record to sign £13m Marlet

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The Independent Online

Jean Tigana yesterday shattered Fulham's transfer record by agreeing a £13m tranfer fee with Lyon for the France international striker Steve Marlet. The Fulham manager was so keen to land Marlet that he almost doubled his offer in the space of a week.

Marlet was in London last night to complete his medical and sign a five-year deal. "It's a fantastic offer for any player and too good to refuse," he said.

The sigining of Marlet easily surpasses Fulham's transfer record of £7m, set earlier this summer with the capture of the Dutch goalkeeper Edwin van der Sar from Juventus. Lyon are replacing Marlet with the £5.5m Strasbourg striker Pegguy Luyindula, who had been a target for West Ham United and Bolton Wanderers.

Tigana's next acquisition could be Josep Guardiola, the Spanish defender who left Barcelona as a free agent in the summer.

The French defender Laurent Blanc is due in Manchester for a medical ahead of agreeing a lucrative one-year deal with United as an immediate replacement for Jaap Stam. In a statement to the Stock Exchange, the Old Trafford club yesterday revealed the fee paid by Lazio for Stam was £15.25m, more than £1m less than originally reported.

The United manager, Sir Alex Ferguson, would also like to rush through a deal for another Frenchman, Bixente Lizarazu, but will have to persuade Bayern Munich to sell and let them find a replacement before Friday's Champions' League deadline.

Ipswich Town have completed the signing of the Danish Under-21 international defender Thomas Gaardsoe from Aalborg. The 21-year-old, who joins the Premiership side on a four-year contract, has moved for a fee of around £1m.

The Football Assocation has rescinded the red card shown to Gary Doherty. Referee David Elleray admitted he made a mistake in sending off the defender, but has refused to reconsiderGus Poyet's dismissal. The Tottenham pair were sent off during a recent Premiership match at Everton, and the club had appealed against both decisions. The Poyet incident will now be reviewed by the FA's video advisory panel.

The panel will also consider a two-footed tackle by the Spurs full-back Mauricio Taricco that left Everton's Thomas Gravesen requiring more than 30 stitches to a gashed ankle. Taricco faces a three-match ban if found to have deliberately committed an offence.

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