The crush for changing space in Portsmouth's dressing-room may be on the brink of being alleviated with Matthew Taylor, one of their left-backs, heading out of the club. The respite will be brief, however, as Taylor is being sold only because Harry Redknapp intends to use his fee, an estimated £2.3m, to finance further signings.
While Fulham were linked with Taylor early yesterday a more likely destination is Tyneside - but Graeme Souness will have to sell, or at least reduce his wage bill, first. Although Newcastle are in the throes of an injury crisis Souness, having spent heavily in the summer, has been told there is no more money.
Fulham, meanwhile, were continuing to negotiate with Wayne Bridge and Chelsea in the hope that a loan deal could be arranged. Tottenham are also interested but they would prefer a permanent signing while Jose Mourinho, the Chelsea manager, wants to only loan Bridge out. The player himself is desperate to secure first team football to revive his fading prospects of playing in the World Cup.
Taylor's probable departure is something of a surprise as he has been one of Portsmouth's best players this season. He has figured in 18 of their 22 Premiership matches and is joint top scorer - albeit with just with four goals. As one of Harry Redknapp's signings in his first spell at the club he is also not tarnished by association with the disastrous transfer policies of Velimir Zajec and Alain Perrin.
However, Taylor is one of the few Portsmouth players who can command a decent fee and while Redknapp has cash to play with following the arrival of wealthy Russian Alexandre Gaydamak he has already spent £11m in this transfer window. Taylor will turn a healthy profit having been signed from Luton for £400,000 in summer 2002.
Another manager still seeking to recruit is Charlton's Alan Curbishley. Despite securing his main target, Everton's Marcus Bent, he remains in the market with a midfielder or centre-half the likely target.
Curbishley wants to re-invigorate a season which started well before hitting the traditional mid-season dip.
"I would like to do a bit more if I can, so let's see," said Curbishley. "I want to strengthen as much as I can."
At most clubs arrivals are usually followed by departures and Charlton are no exception - if they can find someone to take what Curbishley describes as "surplus players".
Most of these are strikers and the futures of Francis Jeffers, Kevin Lisbie and Jonatan Johansson, plus attacking midfielder Jason Euell, are likely to lie elsewhere.
The Championship is the most likely destination for most with Sheffield United, Millwall and Norwich linked with the strikers. Euell is expected to stay in the top flight but his proposed £1.5m move to Birmingham looks like collapsing.
Steve Bruce said he can bring in only one player so that had to be the "right player". With a scan on Emile Heskey's knee injury revealing the damage to be less serious than feared he indicated that may no longer mean an offensive player.Reuse content