Spurs and Villa scouting in Split

Tottenham and Aston Villa will be offered the chance this week to cash-in on the footballing talent in Croatia, the team from the warring former Yugoslavia who could go far in next summer's European Championship finals, writes Trevor Haylett.

The Spurs manager, Gerry Francis, who has been scouring the Continent for cut-price signings, and Villa's Brian Little have both asked to see a video of Croatia's 1-1 draw with Italy on Sunday night.

Agents working for English clubs were in Split over the weekend discussing possible transfers.They say the Croats, virtual certainties to appear in the English showpiece, are physically and temperamentally suited for the Premiership. Francis, seeking a long-term replacement for the 34-year- old Gary Mabbutt, will consider the merits of two stoppers: Igor Stimac and Dubravko Pavlicic; while Villa are anxious to acquire a foreign sweeper for their "Continental" defensive system and will check out Nikola Jerkan.