That was the weekend that was: Rumours - Shadow over Shearer's future

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The Independent Online
A QUESTION mark again hangs over the future of Alan Shearer after the Sunday Mirror claimed that Ruud Gullit has reluctantly agreed to sell the England striker. The Mirror says the only way Gullit can raise the pounds 20m he needs to rebuild the St James Park squad is to let Shearer and David Batty go. Offers over pounds 15m for Shearer will be considered.

Nottingham Forest face a tough decision over whether to accept a money- back offer of pounds 4.5m for rebel striker Pierre van Hooijdonk after both the Mail on Sunday and News of the World claimed Leeds had offered that amount for the 28-year-old Dutchman. David O'Leary is still in the market for a goalscorer after being turned down by Dion Dublin.

Forest want at least pounds 6m for a player who cost them pounds 4.5m from Celtic but may be tempted to cash in rather than wait for possible interest in Spain or Italy. Van Hooijdonk's advisors, the Mail says, are urging Forest to sell.

The People, meanwhile, reports that Steve Stone will signal his intention to leave the City Ground if Forest's slide towards relegation continues. The former England international has already been in two Forest sides that have gone down. The same paper claims also that Leeds have offered pounds 1.5m for Norwich winger Keith O'Neill, rated at pounds 4m but out of contract next summer.

The Mail on Sunday backs up the Sunday Mirror in suggesting that Manchester United have targeted Ajax's Edwin van der Sar to replace Peter Schmeichel after being put off by Mark Bosnich's wage demands. The People, however, reckon United are checking up on Swedish No 2 Mattias Asper, whom AIK Stockholm could sell for pounds 800,000.

According to the Mirror, Ian Wright has urged Harry Redknapp to bring Paul Ince back to West Ham, while the Express says Liverpool want West Ham's Eyal Berkovic to replace Steve McManaman.

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