The Manchester City manager, Mark Hughes, is exploring the possibility of a dramatic transfer deadline day reunion with David Bentley, one of his finest signings at Blackburn Rovers, who may move to Eastlands on a season's loan if a deal can be secured to send the Bulgarian left-winger Martin Petrov to Tottenham on similar terms.
Bentley has fallen out of favour since Rovers sold him to Spurs for £15m a month after Hughes departed to Eastlands, but the prospect of re-establishing the partnership between Bentley and Roque Santa Cruz which worked so well at Ewood Park appeals to Hughes. The deal hinges on Spurs taking Petrov, who has declared himself unhappy with the prospect of warming a bench all season. Portsmouth's Niko Kranjcar could also make a late £2m move to White Hart Lane to help fill the gap in Spurs' midfield left by the injured Luka Modric, who faces at least six weeks out with a fractured fibula.
One player not heading to Tottenham is David James, whose proposed transfer collapsed last night after the Portsmouth manager, Paul Hart, rejected the offer of Carlo Cudicini as a replacement for the England goalkeeper. Tottenham have explored ways in which they could make the deal happen but the offer of Cudicini has been turned down by Hart. It is also thought that the Italian, 36 on Sunday, is not keen on a move to Portsmouth. He would have been the makeweight in a deal to bring James to Spurs.
David Moyes faces an anxious transfer deadline day pursuing last-minute reinforcements to maintain Everton's presence among the big spenders with Atletico Madrid's Dutch defender Johnny Heitinga evidently uncertain whether he wanted to move and Valencia proving reluctant to release Argentine midfielder Ever Banega.
A £5m fee has been agreed between the clubs for Heitinga and Everton believe they can put together a deal to match his current pay of £2m a year net (which would mean a salary of around £75,000 a week gross) yet remaining within the club's current pay structure. The international did not seem convinced about the move, though Moyes believes he can be persuaded. Moyes has not given up hope of securing Banega but Valencia, having started to use the player, have found him to be valuable and may not be willing to let him go.
Everton have also inquired after the West Ham central defenders James Collins and Matthew Upson, who is also an interest of Fiorentina, who need to increase their £8m rejected bid to at least £10m.
West Ham maintain some hope of bringing Bordeaux's Marouane Chamakh to Upton Park. The £7m deal has been in place for some time but Gianfranco Zola needs to sell first. The club would be willing to let go both Upson and Collins. Fiorentina and West Ham have agreed a swap deal that sees Portuguese defender Manuel da Costa move to the Premier League in exchange for the striker Savio. The Hammers will retain 50 per cent of the German Under-20 international's sell-on value.
Stoke failed with a £5m move for Collins last week, but have strengthened their squad, signing Uruguay midfielder Diego Arismendi for an initial £2.9m fee rising to £4.84m. The 21-year-old has moved to the Britannia Stadium from Club Nacional.
Manchester City face a busy last day attempting to offload players. Richard Dunne is the most likely to move to Aston Villa for £6m as a replacement for Martin Laursen, who retired at the end of last season, though the terms of his pay-off from City are still being agreed. Suggestions he would want £6m to leave are wide of the mark, with £2m more realistic for a player who earns £75,000 a week and would take a substantial cut to move to Villa Park.
Hull City, Blackburn Rovers and Fulham have all made inquiries about Benjani, as have his previous club Portsmouth, though the player has so far failed to agree personal terms with Hull. Pompey have concluded a four-year deal for the Manchester City defender Tel Ben Haim.
Hull City centre-back and captain Michael Turner has moved to Sunderland for £12m also on a four-year deal, but there is no prospect of the Sunderland striker Fraizer Campbell moving in the opposite direction.