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Newz Forum: SOCCER: Football News and Rumors 26/07/04

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posted on Jul, 26 2004 @ 03:25 PM
Newcastle could complete the signing of Manchester United midfielder Nicky Butt within a week after making a decisive move. It is understood most of the work for a move thought to amount to 2.5million has been done and that only a series of minor issues now need to be finalised before the 29-year-old England international can be unveiled at St James' Park. Butt is currently in Chicago with Sir Alex Ferguson's side and is not due to return until the weekend, although it remains to be seen whether or not he will be allowed to fly home early to seal his switch to Tyneside.

Liverpool hope to be able to announce Michael Owen's new contract when they return from their three-match trip to the United States. The deal should be complete before the Reds' first game of the season a Champions League qualifier on August 11.

Arsenal's bid to sign Tunisian right-back Hatem Trabelsi from Ajax is on the brink of collapse as manager Arsene Wenger continues to insist Patrick Vieira will not be leaving the Gunners for Real Madrid.

Middlesbrough boss Steve McClaren will hope to make his fifth and final summer signing within days as the club closes in on a permanent deal for Bolo Zenden. It is understood that the Teessiders are close to agreeing terms with the 27-year-old Dutch midfielder which will see him remain at the Riverside Stadium following his successful loan spell.

Bolton have said they expect Youri Djorkaeff to leave the club shortly but remain confident of signing former Real Madrid skipper Fernando Hierro. Manager Sam Allradyce has held talks with 36-year-old defender Hierro, currently out of contract following a season in Qatar, and is hopeful of tying up a deal within the next 48 hours.

Tottenham have had a second bid of 3million for Nottingham Forest midfielder Andy Reid rejected by the Championship club. Forest rejected a 5million approach from Spurs for the Ireland international in the January transfer window, and manager Joe Kinnear has suggested he values his chief asset in the region of 10million. Tottenham sporting director Frank Arnesen has made a fresh approach just 24 hours after Reid criticised Forest for failing to strengthen the squad over the summer.

AC Milan have firmly denied that Portugal midfielder Rui Costa had signed a two-year contract with Manchester United. A report in the Portuguese press claimed that the player had agreed to join United but the Italian champions say he will play for the Rossoneri next season.

Massimo Maccarone looks set to head back to Italy, after Fiorentina's offer to loan him was accepted. Middlesbrough have been looking to trim their forward line over the summer, following the acquisitions of Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink and Mark Viduka. Joseph-Desire Job penned a new deal earlier this summer, which meant Boro were looking to shed the wages of other players.

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