Transfer talk (Friday, 17 July)

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The Independent Football

They shoot...

Cottagers eyeing Crouch

Fulham are expected to match Sunderland's £12m bid for Peter Crouch today after the striker returned to London from talks with Steve Bruce in the North-east. Crouch was given a tour of the training ground and will make his mind up over the weekend. He told Bruce that geographical considerations will not figure and he has no problem moving to Wearside, as has been suggested. Bruce said last night: "I believe there is a bit of competition but we'll keep our fingers crossed because he's the type of signing that would signal our intent, where we want to be. We'll see what will develop over the next 24 to 48 hours. We've had him up, we've done our utmost, if we can pull it off, it would be terrific. I'm led to believe he's talking to Fulham but I didn't bring that into it."

Sam Wallace

Rovers face fight for Zigic

Blackburn Rovers target Nikola Zigic is being chased by 15 clubs, according to the Valencia striker's agent. An unnamed German side have made a bid, but the 6ft 7in Serb is keen for a move to England.

Hamann keen to stay

Former Liverpool and Manchester City midfielder Dietmar Hamann is keen to stay in England. "I have had offers from abroad, including Germany," the 35-year-old said. "But my priority is England."

They score...

Downing completes switch

Stewart Downing has completed his move from Middlesbrough to Aston Villa. The £12m signing will be unavailable for the start of the season as the result of a foot injury picked up against Villa in May.

McCarthy deals accepted

Wolves and Wigan have both had bids accepted for the highly rated Hamilton midfielder James McCarthy.

They miss...

Tigers end Murphy interest

Hull City have pulled out of a move to bring Sunderland's Daryl Murphy to the KC Stadium after personal talks with the Black Cats' striker broke down.

Aquilani not Anfield-bound

The agent of Alberto Aquilani has brushed aside reports suggesting the Italy playmaker will leave Roma for Liverpool this summer. The 25-year-old has been linked with a €16m (£13.8m) switch but Franco Zabaglia said: "Alberto to Liverpool? Let's not say silly things. There is no truth in this."

Young is staying put: O'Neill

The Aston Villa manager Martin O'Neill has said the club will not be selling their winger Ashley Young. Rumours have gathered pace following the arrival of Stewart Downing, but O'Neill said: "No one has come in and asked us about Ashley Young and I have got to tell you, if they did they would get short shrift."

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