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Bassett plans pounds 3m deal for Croat striker; Top team for soccer stories.

NOTTINGHAM FOREST want crack Aussie striker Marc Vaduca to take over from striking star Pierre van Hooijdonk.

Forest chief Dave Bassett is willing to pay around pounds 3m for Vaduca, who plays for Croatian champions Croatia Zagreb. Bassett has been in contact with the club and player's agent about tying up a deal soon.

Zagreb are in the money-spinning Champions' League after knocking out Celtic in the qualifiers and they want to keep Vaduca as long as possible.

But he is out of contract at the end of the season and could leave for less. As a non-EC player there would still be a transfer fee if he moved.

RUUD GULLIT is unlikely to wait long before trying to persuade pal Frank Leboeuf to defect from Chelsea.

BIG-spending Bradford City are heading for a pounds 1m sale to balance the books.

Left-back Wayne Jacobs is set to join Stockport and midfielder Nigel Pepper could join Burnley. Fee each time is pounds 150,000.

Craig Ramage is wanted by Wrexham and Notts County while striker Robbie Blake is available at around pounds 400,000.

STUART BALMER could go to QPR after being transfer listed by Charlton.

He is a likely replacement for injured defender Richard Ord.

LEICESTER are giving a trial to Toni Tervonen, centre-half in Finland's under-21 side.

CITY WILL EYE KENNY CLAIM

THE first legal meetings over Kenny Dalglish's compensation claim took place on Tyneside earlier in the week.

The Stock Exchange are taking a keen interest. Newcastle's statement saying Dalglish had resigned was made to the City and such statements must be beyond reproach.

SPURS TEST FRENCH ACE

FRENCH full back Christophe Pignol is currently training with Spurs on a fortnight's trial.

The Monaco defender, 28, played in a midweek reserve game and will play again this week.

Meanwhile John Scales is on the comeback trail after a recurrence of the calf injury that wrecked his season last year.

Back Hodgson

ROY HODGSON (left) is emerging as the favourite to succeed Glenn Hoddle when - and if - he leaves the England job.

Hodgson has not exactly been a roaring success at Ewood Park but should such a scenario unfold, it would leave Jack Walker looking for a new Blackburn manager. Step forward, one Kenny Dalglish. Walker and the Blackburn hierarchy would welcome their former boss back with open arms.

Reid targets pounds 1m

kid Andy

SUNDERLAND boss Peter Reid is ready to offer pounds 1m plus for the new Michael Owen - Birmingham City strike sensation Andy Johnson.

The super 17-year-old dazzled Reid with a wonder show against his reserves and he sent his chief scout Andy King to watch his next game.

Reid has asked Trevor Francis to name his price for the home grown youngster and he is dead set on signing him.

Johnson - a slightly build blond bombshell - has electric pace and is a deadly finisher. He is already in Francis's squad and has come on as a sub.

FRENCH defender Manuel Thetis is set to sign for Ipswich this week.

He impressed boss George Burley in a two-week trial and will cost pounds 400,000 from Spanish club Seville.

Alex Mathie, meanwhile, could be on his way out of Ipswich but Reading must cough up pounds 1m to get him.

PORT VALE bid pounds 600,000 for striker Andy Cooke then reeled when Burnley asked for pounds 1m.

KEVIN KEEGAN may offer to trade Paul Moody and Neil Smith for Millwall midfielder Paul Shaw.
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Title Annotation:Sport
Publication:The People (London, England)
Date:Sep 6, 1998
Words:578
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