Graham ready to splash out

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The Independent Football

The Tottenham manager, George Graham, said yesterday that the club were ready to spend their way of trouble and that he is scouring Europe "for five or six quality players".

The Tottenham manager, George Graham, said yesterday that the club were ready to spend their way of trouble and that he is scouring Europe "for five or six quality players".

Spurs are in 12th position in the Premiership table and suffered the humiliation of being knocked out of the Worthington Cup by First Division Birmingham City on Tuesday.

Graham insisted, however, that he would put things right, and suggested a change of policy at a club previously reluctant to buy their way to improvement - even though the present transfer system is under threat.

Graham told a news conference yesterday: "We are short of five or six quality players and if we can get them in we will."

Graham knows his squad is short of players of the necessary ability when injuries occur. He had previously suggested that Spurs would not be spending because of fears that the European Commission may soon outlaw the current transfer system. But, in a change of heart, he flew out to the Continent on Wednesday to look at players to strengthen his side.

"I have been abroad looking at players and if the right ones become available I will make an effort to get them and I am sure the money will be found."

The Scotland captain, Colin Hendry, is ready to leave Coventry City and sign for Bolton Wanderers.

Bolton are in talks to take Hendry, who has slipped to fifth-choice centre-back at Coventry, to the Reebok Stadium before the weekend, on a free transfer or a long-term loan deal.

Hendry is desperate to play first-team football to help his chances of staying in the Scotland side and is said to be eager to join Wanderers.

Bolton are trying to sell their South African centre-back Mark Fish to Charlton and the income from that deal would pay for Hendry, but Fish has so far refused to agree a move. He is valued at £1m by Bolton, though Charlton are trying to take him for less and know he is a free agent at the end of the season.

A Fish transfer could happen today as the chairmen try to find a compromise fee and if it goes through Hendry's move to Bolton could happen quickly.

Brad Friedel has been given a work permit to join Blackburn, after some help from the Liverpool manager, Gérard Houllier. The American goalkeeper was granted his permit on appeal by the Overseas Labour Service last night, partly thanks to a glowing reference from Houllier. Friedel had to argue that he was worth a "second chance" permit after his move to Liverpool had run into problems. Houllier wrote that Friedel would have been used by Liverpool but for their problem with too many non-EC players.

Friedel will fly in today to complete terms with Blackburn and could even make his debut against Stockport tomorrow.

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