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The Independent Online

Fact and fiction from the Sunday papers

With the transfer deadline only 10 days away, speculation is building over several moves. The People and the News of the World agree that Stan's the man for Everton: both reported "exclusively" yesterday that Stan Collymore may move to Goodison Park from Nottingham Forest for the equivalent of £7.5m. Both say that Everton have already bid £5m and are ready to offer one or two players as additional bait. The People says Blackburn have offered Middlesbrough £2m for Jamie Pollock. The Sunday Express says that Celtic have offered Wimbledon £2.5m for Warren Barton, who is also said to interest Blackburn and Everton. However, most of the weekend speculation surrounded Arsenal. The People says the north London club are interested in Kit Symons (Portsmouth) and Andrew Impey (QPR) and have also inquired about Newcastle's Robert Lee (who is also said to interest Chelsea and Tottenham). Coventry are reported to have offered Arsenal £2m for Paul Dickov and Steve Morrow, while the People suggests that several senior Highbury players could be shown the door if Arsenal go out of the Cup- Winners' Cup this week. It says those under threat include Dixon, Winterburn, Linighan, Bould, Campbell, McGoldrick, Smith, Jensen - and possibly even Wright. There is also speculation about who will succeed George Graham as Arsenal manager. Stewart Houston is currently in caretaker control, but the People says that Arsenal want Ray Harford, Kenny Dalglish's assistant at Blackburn. There are even suggestions that Gerry Francis might be the man to succeed Graham. Francis is working without a contract at Tottenham and the Sunday Mirror quotes him as saying that he has not yet made up his mind as to whether he wants to stay at White Hart Lane. The News of the World says that Francis has had several disagreements with his chairman, Alan Sugar, over team matters.


of the weekend

Swansea City's 1-0 victory away to Birmingham City, who had previously lost only once this season in the Second Division at St Andrews. The win strengthens Swansea's own hopes of promotion.

Quote of the weekend: ``If Blackburn win the title they should strike Shearer a medal as big as a dustbin lid.'' Ron Atkinson, the manager of Coventry City, after Alan Shearer's late headed goal gave Blackburn a 1-1 draw at Highfield Road.