Move Looking Dodgy: Mark
Crossley's move to Leicester City is looking very dodgy at the moment. Speculation
prior to the weekend was that 'Big Norm' would be a Fox by the end of the
week. Unfortunately for the Welsh International, Celtic then expressed their
interest in Martin O'Neill becoming their new manager and the deal went very
As of 17:30 this afternoon both
radio and television have said that Martin O'Neill has agreed to become the
new manager at Celtic, however, there has been no official confirmation from
Leicester or Celtic at this point.
Should Martin O'Neill become
the manager at Celtic it is unlikely that the Mark Crossley deal will go through
in it's present form, though any new manager at Leicester may still want to
bring in another keeper with Pegguy Arphexad looking to be on his way to Liverpool.
Mark Crossley commented in the
local press: "Leicester was the first choice for a new club for me after finding
out that Forest was not an option. But if it doesn't go ahead there are still
a couple of other Premier League clubs interested so I just have to wait and
"There is also a First Division
club that is interested but I would prefer to stay in the East Midlands."
To Return: It's obviously
a slow time for news and gossip at the moment so it looks like papers are
regurgitating old gossip for the sake of it. The latest bit of gossip to resurface
in today's papers is that ex-Forest defender Chris Hope, currently at Scunthorpe,
is likely to return to Forest during the Summer.
I can't work out why the club
are being linked with defenders as we already have enough to field a complete
team of defenders without adding any more.
Compensation Expected: According
to the latest reports the Forest players cheated out of UEFA cup glory in
1984 look set to receive £3 million in compensation. Both FIFA and UEFA are
keen to end the long running feud between the Forest players and Belgian club
Anderlecht ahead of Euro 2000.
The Forest group, led by Garry
Birtles have been fighting for compensation since it was revealed that the
referee for the 1984 final had received payment from the then Anderlecht president,
Constantine Vanden Stock. But despite stories concerning a bumper pay out,
Birtles is remaining is cautious over the news.
He said: "It's news to me. We
were spoken to about it the other day and we had no indication over what sort
of action would be taken.
"I'd be delighted if it did happen,
but I still think it could be highly unlikely.
"For them to pay up that sort
of money would be great for us. But I just can't see it happening."
Rethinking Deal: Ian
Woan is rumoured to be rethinking Forest's offer of a new one year contract.
The midfielder was offered the new deal on vastly reduced terms after two
years of injury problems but initially he refused to sign the contract. It
is believed that he has now had a change of heart and is rethinking the deal
while on holiday.
The Wirral Squirrel made only
a handful of first team appearances over the past two years and his future
looked bleak when David Platt told him he could leave - if he could find himself
a new club. However, only Chesterfield and Scunthorpe showed any interest
in signing him but Woan rejected the chance to join them on loan.
Platt has since had a change
of heart himself and decided to offer him a performance-related contract and
is now waiting to hear Woan's decision on his future.
Favourites For Crossley: Leicester
have emerged as favourites to sign Mark Crossley after Derby County denied
any plans to sign the 31 year old Welsh international.
To Make Decision: Rumours
are surfacing everywhere this afternoon that Mark Crossley has attended a
medical and is now set to sign for a Premiership club. The speculation in
the papers and on the radio is that Norm will sign for either Leicester or
Derby within the next three days - he's in Wales today as part of the squad
to play against Brazil tonight and won't be back in Nottingham until Wednesday
Leicester, Derby and Sheffield
Wednesday have all been tracking the keeper for sometime now but very little
news has emerged recently. However, it has been confirmed that Norm has had
a medical and he himself expects to sign the deal shortly.
Norm commented: "The deal is
close to going through and I am back in Nottingham tomorrow so it will be
Thursday at the earliest.
"There's going to be competition
for places at every Premiership club but I'm quite confident I can progress.
"In fact, I'm surprised how easily
it has come along. Only on Sunday afternoon I had a call from another interested
club from the First Division. It's all been quite encouraging."
Rumours Surface Again: Like
the proverbial bad penny, the 'Andy Johnson on his way to Leicester' rumours
have resurfaced again today, with several of the Sunday papers and the Internet
all linking Johnson with a move to Leicester to rejoin his old boss Martin
Watches Blake: It's
no secret in football that David Platt is on the lookout for a new striker.
Bearing this in mind it comes as no surprise that he has now been linked with
Blackburn Rover's striker Nathan Blake.
The situation has arisen because
Graham Souness has told half a dozen of his current squad that their services
are no longer needed at Ewood Park. Though Blackburn and Souness have not
named names as yet, Welsh international, Blake, looks to be one of the players
on his way out.
Blake cost Blackburn £4.25
million in 1998, but us currently estimated to be worth only a quarter of
On His Way: Unsettled
Italian, Gianluca Petrachi, is rumoured to be on his way back to Perugia,
the club he left to join Forest in a £1.3 million deal at the beginning
of the season.
The Italian has failed to settle
in this country and David Platt has told him he can leave for the right price.
He is being linked with Perugia after the Serie A side avoided relegation
yesterday with a 1-0 win over Juventus. Perugia are expected to bolster their
squad for next season, and Petrachi has always been a big favourite with the
Want Johnson: It was
rumoured earlier in the season that Leicester City boss Martin O'Neill was
keen to renew his relationship with Andy Johnson by taking him from the City
Ground to Filbert Street. At the time Johnson was suffering from an Achilles
injury which sidelined him for much of the first part of the season.
However, now the season has ended
the Foxes are said to be renewing their interest in the midfielder and are
likely to make a move for him during the summer break.
Want Crossley: Sheffield
Wednesday are the latest club to be linked with a move for Mark Crossley.
Crossley was pictured earlier this week leaving the City Ground with his belongings
for the last time. He described the experience as "one of the saddest
days of my life".
Crossley has also been linked
with Leicester, Derby and Wimbledon. There has also been talk in the press
of possible moves to Spain and Japan as well.
Offered New Deal: We
are currently picking up on rumours that Ian Woan has been offered a new deal
with Forest. The deal is understood to be for one season, though indications
are that Woan will have to take a big cut in salary.
Monitor Crossley: Coventry
City are the latest club to be monitoring the Mark Crossley situation. Mark
himself has admitted after his testimonial match on Tuesday that he his now
100% certain that he is leaving Forest after 13 years loyal service.
Coventry are set to lose Steve
Ogrizovic at the end of the season after 16 years and 600 appearances. Big
'Oggy' is expected to make a final appearance for the Sky Blues this Saturday
when they entertain Sheffield Wednesday at Highfield Road, before retiring
from the first team and taking a position as goalkeeping coach for the club.
Mark Crossley is being looked at as a possible long term replacement for Oggy.
On Comeback Trail: Salvatore
Matrecano is expected to take another step along the comeback trail tonight
as Forest's reserves take on West Ham. The Italian has been pencilled in to
play in the penultimate game of the FA premier Reserve League clash. He made
his return to action at reserve level last week after a six-month layoff with
a knee ligament injury. If he comes through tonight's game unscathed, he could
figure in David Platt's plans for Sunday's final game of the season at Stockport.
Is Not Off To Rovers: Alan
Rogers is NOT off to Blackburn Rovers next season, says Graham Souness. This
is the official line coming from Ewood Park after Souness chose to watch Forest's
game at the City Ground on Saturday in preference to watching his own side
lose 2-1 to Crystal Palace. Though there has been no explanation of why the
manager chose to watch Forest instead of his own side.