Transfer News and Speculation: 21 July

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The Independent Football

The Chilean international Carlos Villanueva is close to joining Blackburn Rovers' new manager, Paul Ince, at Ewood Park, according to the player's agent. The midfielder, who plays for the Santiago side Audax Italiano, became a target for Ince after the Blackburn manager contacted the agent Cristian Otero about another of his clients, Mauro Zarate, who was on loan at Birmingham City last season.

When Zarate chose to join Lazio instead, Ince turned his attention to Villanueva, who bears the unlikely nickname Cabeza de Piña, or "Pineapple Head". The left-footed playmaker, who made his international debut in last season's Copa America, where he scored against Ecuador, is likely to join Rovers for a fee of around £4m. A target closer to home for Ince is the midfielder Keith Andrews, who has been put up for sale by MK Dons, according to reports. Andrews, 27, was named League Two player of the year last season thanks to the 14-goal haul that helped Dons take the title. "Keith is a player we value highly and remain committed to retaining," a spokesman said, "but we maintain our policy of not standing in the way of an individual's professional development."

Fulham pair head for Carrow Road

Norwich City's manager, Glenn Roeder, has bolstered his defensive options by signing the Fulham pair Dejan Stefanovic and Elliot Omozusi. Stefanovic, 33, joins on a two-year deal, while Omozusi arrives at Carrow Road on a season-long loan. Roeder said: "It's great to bring in two players with Premiership experience and their arrival is part of our squad rebuilding ahead of the new season." Stefanovic, a former Serbia international, boasts nine years of top-flight experience with Sheffield Wednesday, Portsmouth and Fulham, while Omozusi has made 11 appearances for Fulham since making his debut in September 2006.

Chimbonda keen to join Keane

The Tottenham defender Pascal Chimbonda said he is excited by the chance to join Roy Keane on Wearside. The 29-year-old France international – one of four Spurs players targeted by Keane, along with Steed Malbranque, Younes Kaboul and Teemu Tainio, travelled north on Saturday for talks with the Sunderland manager and said: "I was extremely impressed with what he had to say. His honesty and openness really were fantastic and I particularly like the plans he has for Sunderland Football Club."

Leeds mull bid for Hull hero Windass

Leeds United are considering a bold bid for Hull City's Wembley play-off hero Dean Windass. Windass is Hull's talisman – he scored the only goal of the Championship final against Bristol City in May – but at 39 he may not feature often in the Premier League next season. Leeds may offer £100,000 for a player who has played for nine clubs, starting with North Ferriby United in 1990. Meanwhile, new Hull recruits George Boateng and Bernard Mendy made debuts on Saturday in the 1-1 draw against KV Oostende in Belgium.


Bobby Barr (St Johnstone) to Albion Rovers: Undisclosed

Elliot Omozusi (Fulham) to Norwich: Season-long loan

Dejan Stefanovic (Fulham) to Norwich: Undisclosed