Palace accelerate quest for Taylor

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The Independent Online
Crystal Palace yesterday offered Bristol Rovers a further pounds 250,000 for their highly coveted striker Gareth Taylor, increasing the price on offer for the Welsh Under-21 international to pounds 1.75m.

The Palace bid includes a pounds 1m down payment, pounds 500,000 depending on appearances, goals and international caps, and a pounds 250,000 sell-on fee should Taylor move again.

However Rovers, who rejected a pounds 1.5m bid a fortnight ago, value the 6ft 2in forward at pounds 2m and are understood to want the cash up front. Palace are also considering a pounds 500,000 offer for the 20-year-old Exeter City defender, Jon Ricardson.

Reading are still attempting to secure a work permit for the Bulgarian international goalkeeper, Borislav Mikhailov, and have not yet completed his pounds 300,000 transfer from Botev Plovdiv. However, Wolverhampton Wanderers have been granted a work permit for the South African striker, Mark Williams, for whom a pounds 300,000 fee has been agreed with the Belgian club, RWD Molenbeek.

Coventry have sold the striker John Williams to Wycombe Wanderers for pounds 150,000.

Harold Shepherdson, who was England's trainer for a record 171 internationals and four World Cups, including their 1966 triumph, has died of a heart attack, aged 76.

Obituary, page 22