The Everton owner, Bill Kenwright ,is setting up a sensational deal to bring Francis Jeffers back from Arsenal.
Jeffers - who left Goodison in a contract dispute two seasons ago - could join his old club on loan for the season if Kenwright gets his way. The big-thinking Blues executive has spoken to his close friend David Dein, Arsenal's vice-chairman, to set the move rolling and the pair will discuss the finer details when the clubs meet today.
Jeffers has become unsettled from being left on the bench at Highbury. His frustration boiled over in the Community Shield last week with his red card for kicking out at Phil Neville. The Liverpool-born striker also wants to a return to Everton becausehe has bonded with Wayne Rooney on England trips and he thinks they could form a young and vibrant partnership.
Jeffers knows Everton are better than the outfit he left for £7m two years ago when Walter Smith was in charge and the idea of helping the Toffees chase honours in a home-grown duo appeals to the forward who was the next big thing before Rooney.
Their manager, David Moyes, is leaving the talking to Kenwright, who believes he can do a deal with Dein - although Arsenal may want money and guarantees that the deal will become permanent. Birmingham City tried a similar loan move during the summer but were rejected. The Gunners' coach, Arsène Wenger, will want to have his say, too. The loss of Jeffers would leave his team very thin up front but he may approve the deal if he can bring in a replacement.
Liverpool are in talks with Markus Babbel about cancelling his contract - with the Blackburn Rovers manager, Graeme Souness, ready to snap him up. Babbel's agents met the Anfield chairman, Rick Parry, yesterday to discuss a pay-off for the German defender who has fallen out with the manager, Gérard Houllier.
The former Bayern Munich player thinks he should be playing after fighting his way back from a life-threatening brain disease but Houllier wants him to move on. Babbel is on around £50,000-a-week at Anfield, wages that would stop him going anywhere in a hurry. The talks are designed to get a settlement and let the experienced campaigner quit the Kop.
Souness wants to take the experienced defender and is hoping the chance of first-team football will appeal to him.
Liverpool will part with Babbel to fund a move for Valencia's Argentinian defender Roberto Fabian Ayala. The Spanish side are willing to sell at £7m, while Ayala is also keen to come despite being quoted as saying he did not fancy the move when questioned in Spain last week.
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