Tottenham Hotspur and West Ham were close last night to a deal for Scott Parker with negotiations over the fee the final point of contention: the Championship club want £5m while Spurs would prefer to pay £1m less with add-ons.
The England international wants a move to Spurs over Queen's Park Rangers who are prepared to offer him more money than he would get at White Hart Lane. Redknapp has not given up on also signing the Real Madrid midfielder Lassana Diarra but wants Parker more in order to preserve the core of British players in his squad.
Redknapp has already signed the Manchester City striker Emmanuel Adebayor on loan with around half his wages being supplied by his parent club. The club have also acquired the Spain Under-21 midfielder Yago Falque from Juventus on a year's loan.
QPR had also been chasing Parker but Neil Warnock felt more than compensated with the capture of Joey Barton on a free transfer from Newcastle United. His former club pointedly thanked Barton, who has been in innumerable scrapes and served time in prison for assault while at Newcastle, for his "on-field contribution". The player himself immediately started tweeting that he was "incredibly excited to be joining QPR at this pivotal time in their history". He then achieved a new twist on the obligatory photograph of a player with his new club shirt by tweeting it himself.
Barton, who is thought to have signed a four-year deal, will be joined at Loftus Road by Aston Villa full-back Luke Young. Unfortunately for Warnock, whose squad is hit by injuries and suspension, neither deal was completed in time for today's match at Wigan. Warnock hopes to bring in at least two more players. Armand Traoré, the Arsenal full-back, and Manchester City winger Shaun Wright-Phillips are thought to be his main targets.
Having half of Adebayor's salary off the wage bill, Roberto Mancini yesterday continued his clear-out by loaning defender Dedryck Boyata to Bolton for the season.
Liverpool have sent Alberto Aquilani to Milan on a year's loan with an option to extend his stay. Kenny Dalglish hopes to sign defender Sebastian Coates and looks to have pipped Atletico Madrid, who reportedly bid £9m.