THAT WAS THE WEEKEND THAT WAS

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The Independent Online
RUMOURS

Fact and fiction from the Sunday papers

Whatever the outcome of their battle against relegation, Crystal Palace will dispense with the services of their manager Alan Smith at the end of the season, according to the News of the World. Slightly more surprising is the man the NoW claims will succeed Smith - the Selhurst Park chairman, Ron Noades, who holds a coaching badge. Club administration will, it is suggested, be taken on board by Ron's brother, Colin Noades. However, the People asserts that Peter Nicholas, the former Wales and Palace midfielder, will be the man to replace Smith.

Newcastle United are determined to land Les Ferdinand from Queen's Park Rangers, according to the Sunday Express, and may raise their bid to £5m. The Magpies are also keen on Spurs' Nick Barmby, says the same paper.

Everton and Arsenal will compete for Wimbledon's Warren Barton, claims the People, which also suggests that the leading candidates for Roy McFarland's job at Derby County are Ossie Ardiles, David Pleat and Peter Reid - who is not under contract at Sunderland.

The News of the World suggests that Ray Clemence, currently in charge at Barnet, will replace Gary Megson as manager of Norwich, ahead of other candidates Martin O'Neill and Steve Bruce.

The Sunday Express claims that Colin Murphy, the former Southend manager who is now in charge of the Dublin club, Shelbourne, will become Cardiff City's new manager this week, and that the former Liverpool man Steve Nicol wants to take charge of his current club, Notts County. Chelsea and Manchester City are leading the chase for the Watford defender, David Holdsworth (People).

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