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Newz Forum: SOCCER: FOOTBALL: News and Rumors 28/07/04

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posted on Jul, 28 2004 @ 03:45 PM
Real Madrid's director of sport Emilio Butragueno and Patrick Vieira's agent Steve Kutner have both distanced themselves with any possibility that the France midfielder will make a 22million switch to the Spanish giants.

Butragueno described reports that Real are close to signing Arsenal 28-year-old skipper as "a bit excessive". And Kutner insists that no agreement on any move away from north London has been made. Former Spain striker Butragueno claimed he was inaccurately quoted in reports which suggested Real had agreed personal terms with the France midfielder.

Celtic are on the verge of smashing the British record for the most expensive loan signing with a swoop for out-of-favour Wolves frontman Henri Camara. The temperamental Senegalese striker angered his club by failing to report for pre-season training and the pre-season tour of Norway. Celtic have now been given permission to speak to the player, who has said he does not want to play lower division football with Wolves following their relegation from the Premiership. Talks will take place in Glasgow tomorrow when a one-year deal is expected to be agreed with a view to a permanent move. The loan, which is worth 1.5million, will beat the previous British record for a loan signing set by Mikael Forssell's move from Chelsea to Birmingham.

Bolton have completed a double swoop for former Spain captain Fernando Hierro and current Israel skipper Tal Ben Haim. Hierro, 36, who has been playing in Qatar after 14 years with Real Madrid, has signed a one-year deal with the Trotters. And Ben Haim, a 22-year-old defender, has joined from Maccabi Tel Aviv and signed a three-year contract after spending two weeks on trial at the Lancashire club. Bolton manager Sam Allardyce will now await international clearance for Hierro.

New Liverpool boss Rafael Benitez has been hit by a double injury blow that could rule both Vladimir Smicer and Harry Kewell out of the start of the season. Smicer, who starred in Euro 2004 as the Czech Republic reached the semi-finals of the tournament, has picked up a knee injury. Kewell is believed to have had a recurrence of the ankle problem that wrecked the second half of his 2003/4 campaign.

Everton look set to sign their second Australian in less than a week. Defender Eddy Bosnar is close to sealing a three-year deal at Goodison Park - a move that would reunite the left-sided defender with his childhood friend Tim Cahill, who completed a 2million transfer to Merseyside from Millwall last week. Sydney-raised Bosnar, a former Australia Under-20 international, has been given the green light by Austrian club Sturm Graz to leave on a free transfer.

Paul Gascoigne believes joining League Two side Boston will be a major boost in his fight against alcoholism. The 37-year-old midfielder made his first appearance for Steve Evans' Pilgrims, playing for 75 minutes of a 4-0 win over an inexperienced Newcastle side, and he hopes to sign as a player-coach on Friday. Alcoholism ruined the latter part of Gascoigne's career with disappointing spells at Middlesbrough, Everton and Burnley. An unsuccessful trial with Wolves followed, while a move to Chinese side Gansu Tianma also failed. But Gascoigne, who is expected to feature in the Pilgrims' Wednesday friendly against Sheffield United, insists that signing for the small Lincolnshire club can get his career, and his life, back on track.

Dwight Yorke has been given a shock recall to the Blackburn squad - after it seemed his Rovers career was over. Former Manchester United striker Yorke was left out of Blackburn's pre-season tour of Germany and has been training with the reserves. But the 32-year-old has been included in a 17-man party for Wednesday's friendly at Stockport County. Boss Graeme Souness revealed that Yorke was sixth-choice striker at Ewood Park - before he sold Andy Cole to Fulham. It is possible that Yorke, a former team-mate of Cole's at United and Rovers, has now moved up the pecking order but it is clear all is not well between manager and player.

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