Tottenham close in on Morientes and Keane

Alan Nixon
Friday 30 August 2002 00:00 BST

Glenn Hoddle was closing in on a remarkable late double transfer manoeuvre last night for the Real Madrid striker Fernando Morientes and Leeds United's Robbie Keane.

Talks between Tottenham and Real for Morientes re-opened as a new approach was made and a £10m price haggled over – with the only snag being how much was paid up front.

Morientes's advisers have spoken with Tottenham and are close to agreeing personal terms, with the Spanish World Cup striker ready to fly over immediately for a medical.

Keane's switch depends on valuations over Darren Anderton, who will be re-united with Terry Venables at Leeds if the clubs can sort out the difference in prices. The unsettled Keane is prepared to take the chance of first-team football in London, while Anderton wants to team up again with Venables, his former manager at Spurs who is now leading Leeds.

Tottenham have had their application for a work permit for the Chinese international striker Qu Bo rejected by the Home Office. The 21-year-old striker, who was a substitute in all three of China's World Cup matches, has not played the required 75 per cent of all internationals during the past two years.

Fabien Barthez has given Manchester United a surprise lift by coming through a full 90 minutes unscathed in a private fixture yesterday afternoon. The French goalkeeper was a surprise selection against Bolton Wanderers. He had little to do but was sharp and comfortable with the ball at his feet.

The word inside the United camp was that Barthez was keen to impress after learning of various moves for a number of keepers and the unpredictable keeper's return, well ahead of schedule after a thigh injury, eases some of the pressure on Sir Alex Ferguson as he pursues a handful of goalkeeping options before tomorrow's transfer deadline.

Ferguson spent yesterday narrowing down the field, with two keepers called Ricardo top of the list. The Spaniard Ricardo, the 30-year-old from Valladolid, is a leading candidate, with his agent flying to Manchester for talks ahead of a possible £2m full-time switch. Last night Ricardo was on standby to fly in, but was awaiting word from United that a deal could be done.

The other Ricardo is the 26-year-old Portuguese international who plays for Boavista, whose representatives were also trying to discuss the possibility of a £2.5m move.

Arsenal, too, may have a new keeper. The Egyptian Rami Shaaban, 27, claimed yesterday to have signed a two-year deal after a two-day trial, but said the move had yet to be confirmed because a fee had not been agreed with his former club, the Swedish side Djurgardens IF.

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