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SUNDERLAND were hoping to complete the signing of England striker Darren Bent from Tottenham today.

Black Cats assistant manager Eric Black has confirmed the club have moved "very close" to tying up the deal, which is expected to involve a transfer fee of around pounds 12million.

LIVERPOOL midfielder Xabi Alonso's future remains unclear despite the club holding talks with Real Madrid officials in Spain at the weekend.

Real have tracked the 27-year-old for several weeks but have been unwilling to meet Liverpool's pounds 30m asking price and negotiations are continuing.

ASTON VILLA were aiming to complete a deal for Leeds teenager Fabian Delph today after the clubs agreed on a fee.

Martin O'Neill's side seem to have beaten several rival Premier League clubs in the scramble for the talented England Under-21 midfielder's services.

CHELSEA have issued a hands-off warning to Tottenham after they were linked with a move for England midfielder Joe Cole. Tottenham boss Harry Redknapp is a long-time admirer of the former West Ham player, but Chelsea moved to quash suggestions Cole could leave Stamford Bridge this summer.

WEST HAM will continue talks with Lucas Neill this week in an attempt to keep him at Upton Park. The Australia international captained the Hammers last season but his contract expired at the end of last month and he is currently listening to offers.
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Publication:Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)
Date:Aug 4, 2009
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