Harry Redknapp moved closer to becoming Leicester City's new manager after talks with the Filbert Street board last night.
Financial terms will be on the table when his agents meet the club's directors today and a quick appointment seems likely. Redknapp, currently Portsmouth's director of football, will expect a salary of around £1m per year plus a bonus if the club manages to stay in the Premiership this season. He is seeking a long-term contract, in part to reassure the back-room staff he plans to bring in.
Redknapp now appears to be the clear favourite for the job and seems ideally suited for the post since the club will want to trade heavily in the transfer market. His knowledge in that area will be helpful, but the club will have to decide whether they can meet his personal demands.
The players' union last night rejected a new offer of television money from the Premier League, increasing the possibility of a strike. Gordon Taylor, the chief executive of the Professional Footballers' Association, described the new offer as "unacceptable".
The improved offer is understood to amount to £9.85m, including £5.75m from the Premier League and £1.4m from the Football League. The original offer was for around £9.2m with £5.2m and £1.3m from the two leagues respectively, £500,000 more than the previous four-year deal.
The PFA's management committee considered the new offer yesterday, but decided to reject it. It is intent on securing £25m, five per cent of the Premier League's television deal, in line with its percentage of the previous TV contract.
Taylor said: "It is extremely disappointing and not acceptable and we will press ahead with a ballot of players on taking industrial action. We are not after a bigger share, just the same share. We feel there's no real progress at all.
"Both the Football League and the Premier League say they have already distributed the money they have so there is no extra left for us: and that is not acceptable either."
Taylor said there had been some progress, with the Premier League accepting that the payment was tied to TV money, and that the new offer did not include a reallocation of players' pension fund contributions.
The Premier League would not comment on any new offer. Its chief spokesman, Philip French, said: "We had an agreement that we will not conduct our negotiations in the press and we are sticking to our side of that agreement."
The Blackburn Rovers manager, Graeme Souness, is on the verge of signing the Sweden Under-21 captain, Nils-Eric Johansson, in a £2m-plus deal to improve his defence. Johansson currently plays for the German Bundesliga side Nuremberg.
The Middlesbrough manager, Steve McClaren, is to give the Troyes left-back Luciano Zavagno the chance to solve his defensive problems. Zavagno is due at the Riverside in the next few days for a trial and could move in a £1m deal from the French club.
The Rangers chairman, David Murray, yesterday ruled out any chance of the club rekindling their interest in the Derby County midfielder Seth Johnson. Rangers had a £6m bid turned down last month.
The Tottenham midfielder Willem Korsten has been forced to retire from football at the age of 26 because of a hip injury. The former Netherlands Under-21 international had no option but to end his career after recurring injury problems and specialist advice from two senior European hip consultants.
The Watford midfielder Paolo Vernazza is recovering from stab wounds to his leg after an attack by an intruder in his Islington home. He is expected to be out of action for at least a month. Also attacked was Vernazza's former Arsenal youth-team colleague, Andrew Douglas, who now plays for the Ryman League club Grays Athletic. He needed emergency surgery, but is now in a stable condition.
The Chelsea winger Jesper Gronkjaer will be out of action for at least four months after undergoing surgery on an injured knee in Copenhagen.
The Manchester City winger Nicky Summerbee has turned out for Bradford City in a private friendly against Huddersfield Town.