Souness rebuffed after approaches for Vieri and Smith

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The Independent Football

"We did inquire about Christian Vieri," he said. "I got a mutual friend to have a word with the player, but it appears he wants to go to Spain. We made an inquiry for Alan Smith, but were told there is nothing doing."

Smith, 24, was a target for Souness's predecessor Sir Bobby Robson. Should he carry out his threat not to play Bellamy - who argued with Souness last year and is due to return to training on Monday after a loan spell at Celtic - Souness faces an Intertoto Cup campaign with only Alan Shearer and Michael Chopra to call on up front.

Vieri, 31, was released by Internazionale yesterday. According to reports in Italy, Tottenham are also interested in the Australian-born striker. Spurs have been rejected by Middlesbrough in a bid for the England midfielder Stewart Downing, believed to be in the region of £6m.

Alan Stubbs, Alessandro Pistone and Steve Watson would appear to have played their last games for Everton. The trio failed to report for pre-season training yesterday and the club's manager David Moyes is resigned to losing them.

The centre-back Stubbs, full-back Pistone and midfielder Watson have refused new contracts. Stubbs is known to be interesting Wolverhampton Wanderers, Watson is looking into a move to West Bromwich Albion and Pistone is in talks with Lecce.

"I wasn't expecting to see any of those three," said Moyes, who has refused to comment on reports linking him with a season-long loan move for the Manchester United striker Louis Saha.

"We would have liked them to stay, but I understand their position fully. We have started back at work, so I think we have moved on now"

Everton are to award their former player and manager Howard Kendall a testimonial.