Defender rumours denied

Last updated : 02 December 2002 By Martyn Elliott

It was a busy weekend for transfer speculation, with most stories centring around defenders after the debacles against Man U and Inter.

Lazio have denied that Jaap Stam is for sale, despite reports that we have made a £6million bid for the Dutch international defender.

The Rome club’s General Manager Sergio Cragnotti said: "I want to refute everything . There are no problems with owed wages.

"We are in a healthy state, as we have proved by settling our debts with Valencia (for Gaizka Mendieta) and Manchester United (for Stam).

"We boast credits of £40 to £50 million. We are a healthy club and do not need to sell anybody."

Chelsea manager Claudio Ranieri has said that John Terry is a big part of Chelsea’s future and is not for sale, so the rumours have now turned to his team mate William Gallas.

The French international defender is reported to have a £7million buy-out clause in his contract and we will battle with Barcelona for his signature in January.

Also reportedly being watched by our scouts is Rangers’ Italian defender Lorenzo Amoruso, despite the fact that he recently said that he wants to end his career at Ibrox.

No week would be complete without rumours of some more attacking players arriving, this time wingers Julian Gray of Crystal Palace and Jan Derek Sorenson of Borussia Dortmund.

The story about Cardiff’s prolific young centre forward Robert Earnshaw arriving in January is still doing the rounds, with Liverpool and Aston Villa also interested.

One Cardiff bookmaker has opened a book on which Premiership club Earnshaw will join in January and has installed us as favourites.

Another rumour that won’t go away is Stevie Caldwell signing for Rangers in the summer when his contract runs out. One report over the weekend quoted the young defender as saying that he doesn’t expect to be at Newcastle next season after the offer of a new contract was withdrawn.

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