Saha's exit leaves gap at United

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The Independent Online

Manchester United today expect to complete the sale of Louis Saha to Everton, with the French international undergoing a medical, no foregone conclusion perhaps given his injury record, and remain hopeful that Dimitar Berbatov will join them from Tottenham Hotspur for a little less than the £30m that is being demanded.

Berbatov trained with Spurs yesterday, and a decision will be taken today on whether he is to be in the squad for tomorrow's League game with Chelsea. But the Bulgarian looked suspiciously like he was saying his goodbyes to staff as he left the Spurs Lodge training ground in Chigwell, Essex, in the early afternoon.

Soon after his departure Roman Pavlyuchenko was driven into Spurs Lodge to complete a £12m switch from Spartak Moscow. Spurs are still in the hunt for another striker – and insist two must be signed before Berbatov is sold. They are also hopeful of reviving a £8m move for Manchester City's Vedran Corluka.

That deal initially collapsed after City changed their minds and it was another change of heart, this time by the player, which means Pavlyuchenko will be joining Spurs. The 26-year-old Russian international had rejected an opening offer, claiming he and his family wanted to stay in Moscow but altered his opinion once an improved bid was made.

Spurs had hoped to sign his countryman Andrei Arshavin and that deal could still go through for Monday's deadline.

The arrivals would allow Spurs to release Berbatov. There have been two bids from United although they fall short of Spurs' valuation, while, yesterday, there were claims that Bayern Munich may turn to the former Bayer Leverkusen striker. Spurs would prefer not to sell to United but they remain the favourites.

Sir Alex Ferguson has created room with Saha's departure. The transfer fee for the 30-year-old is thought to be nominal given his record of injury. The Everton manager, David Moyes, said: "There is no doubt he is a fantastically talented player, the question now is can we get him fit and we are hoping we can do that."

There was further action at United yesterday with Hull City reportedlymaking a bid for Frazier Campbell. The 20-year-old spent seven months on loan at Hull last season and played a big role in their promotion to the Premier League, scoring 15 goals.

Another player due to leave Manchester, the light blue half, is Corluka. City are in talks to sign the 23-year-old Argentina international Pablo Zabaleta, having beaten off Juventus for the Espanyol defender. Zabaleta, who was undergoing a medical yesterday, will cost £6.45m – the buy-out clause in his contract – and has agreed terms on a four-year deal. Zabaleta will be a replacement for Corluka should he leave. Spurs are considering playing the Croat as a central defender or holding player in midfield, especially once Alan Hutton has regained fitness.

l Fulham have signed Dickson Etuhu from Sunderland for an undisclosed fee. The transfer ends Roy Hodgson's summer-long search for a defensive midfielder.

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