Spurs lead Jenas race as Arsenal wait in the wings

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Spurs have had two bids rejected for Jenas - the second is thought to have amounted to £10m - and have also discussed the possibility of Newcastle taking one of their players such as Fredi Kanoute in part-exchange. Souness, although desperate to recruit a striker, has indicated that he is only interested in a cash deal while Kanoute continues to attract his former club West Ham United and is understood to be available for about £6m.

It is believed a bid of £12m-£13m is likely to succeed for Jenas, who was included in the squad for the friendly in the Republic of Ireland against Bray Wanderers last night, but who has told Newcastle that he wants to move. He is keen to join either of the two London clubs but if he did move to Spurs it would hasten the departure of the midfielder Sean Davis. The Spurs manager, Martin Jol - although expected to pair Michael Carrick and Edgar Davids in the centre of his midfield - regards Jenas as an ideal addition to his squad.

Souness is also understood not to have given up hope of prising Luis Boa Morte away from Fulham - even though he has so far bid below a price which would be accepted. Newcastle's latest offer was £3m plus the goalkeeper Steve Harper, in whom Fulham are interested. Fulham are believed to have been offered - and rejected - the chance to take midfielder Amdy Faye last week.

The Newcastle chairman Freddy Shepherd, meanwhile, called off a trip to Madrid yesterday to try to secure Michael Owen. Shepherd was due to fly to Spain at Real Madrid's invitation but has received no encouragement from Owen's advisers that the striker wants to move to St James's Park.

"We had a discussion with Real Madrid about Owen and after that I have no comment," Shepherd said.