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Transfer Roundabout Continues

Hadji to Arsenal, Ostenstad to Highfield Road along with half the Aston Villa squad – once a club has money to spend there’s no end of possibilities.

Arsene Wenger is thought to be keen to snap up the new Sky Blues skipper to fill the holes in his squad caused by the departure of Marc Overmars and Emmanuel Petit.

Whether Coventry City will be prepared to let Hadji follow Robbie Keane and Noel Whelan out of the city without a replacement remains to be seen, even if it is for the £7.5 million speculated in some areas.

But according to the universal rumour mill, there will be no shortage of replacements as the Sky Blues are being linked with any player who is currently available.

Blackburn striker Egil Ostenstad has been told by manager Graeme Souness that he is not in the blueprint for an Ewood Park revival, and he could be released for as a little as £3 million.

Southampton had originally sold Ostenstad for £7 million, putting him out of the Sky Blues’ league at the time.

But he has now become available again and Coventry boss Gordon Strachan is reported as being an admirer.

And here is still speculation that Julian Joachim will sign from Aston Villa, and Benita Carbone’s name has also been thrown into the ring.

It is more likely that Carbone will sign for Bradford, who have promised to unveil a big new name tomorrow.

All three players, however, will demand much higher salaries than the current Sky Blues pay structure.

Football agent Halim Hirallah claims he will offer the Sky Blues first crack at signing a third Moroccan international - striker Ahmed Badja, who currently plays in Saudi Arabia.

Hearts have told any prospective buyers to keep away from their captain and midfielder Colin Cameron, but with the club having recent off-the-field difficulties, a good offer might be enough to prise him away.

Celtic have given unsettled striker Mark Burchill permission to talk to any club interested in him, and he has inevitably been linked with Coventry.

Meanwhile defender Barry Ferguson has gone to Division Three side Hartlepool on loan to get some first team experience.
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'Coventry City - the Elite Era' by Jim Brown

CWN / Sport / Football / Coventry City FC / 8 Aug 00
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