THAT WAS THE WEEKEND THAT WAS

RUMOURS Fact and fiction from the Sunday papers
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RUMOURS

Fact and fiction from the Sunday papers

Chelsea are preparing to join the big spenders this summer, according to the Sunday Mirror, thanks to the financial backing of director Matthew Harding. As much as £12m will be made available to fund bids for Matt Le Tissier, Bolton's Alan Stubbs... and Paul Gascoigne. The proposed deal for Gazza will, claims the Sunday Mirror, consist of a down-payment of about £1.5m with more payable in instalments depending on appearances. The Sunday Express claims that Harding, the chairman of an insurance group, is to offer Ken Bates, the Chelsea chairman, £9m for control of the Stamford Bridge club.

The News of the World says that Southampton's Alan Dodd will be on his way from The Dell in the close season, with Spurs, Chelsea and Wimbledon leading the chase. The Sunday Express claims that another Chelsea target is Liverpool's Jan Mlby, while Aston Villa are keen on Manchester City's Niall Quinn.

The People says there will be a summer clear-out at Newcastle, with Paul Bracewell and Mike Hooper among those on their way, to make room for a buying spree. Mark Draper, Les Ferdinand, Warren Barton, Don Hutchison, Steve Stone and the Barnsley goalkeeper David Watson are listed as the top targets for Kevin Keegan, the Newcastle manager. The People also suggests that Rangers are to launch a £4m bid for Arsenal's Paul Merson.

The highly rated Celtic defender Brian O'Neil has rejected a proposed move to Manchester City in favour of a new contract with the Glasgow club, reports the Sunday Mail. Having been rebuffed by Racing Santander's Dimitri Radchenko, Celtic's search for a striker has moved to Anderlecht's Marc Degryse, according to Scotland on Sunday.

On the managerial merry-go-round, the News of the World claims that Barry Fry's job security at Birmingham City depends on winning promotion from the Second Division. If he fails, the ambitious Blues may move for their old boy Trevor Francis. His current employers, Sheffield Wednesday, have tried in vain to lure the former England manager Bobby Robson away from his Portuguese club, Porto, according to the Mail on Sunday.

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