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Coleman for Collins

last updated Thursday 13th July 2000, 9:30 AM
Fulham defender 
Chris Coleman
Fulham defender
Chris Coleman
Chris Coleman Stories
EVERTON boss Walter Smith is demanding Fulham defender Chris Coleman in a straight swap for his Scottish midfield man John Collins.

Wales centre-back Coleman, 30, was frustrated by Fulham's failure to win promotion to the Premiership last season and wants top-flight football.

The Craven Cottage skipper is believed to earn almost £25,000 a week - one fifth of the First Division club's total wage bill. And Fulham chief Jean Tigana is desperate to land Collins, who played for him at Monaco.

Everton slapped a £3.5million price tag on Scotland international Collins, 32, who Tigana wants as a player-coach.

But Tigana will only sanction the proposed swap deal if Everton also cough up £1m.

Coleman and Tigana are expected to discuss the deal when Fulham return from France today following their pre- season friendly against Rennes.

Collins' departure from Goodison Park will be helped by the arrival of Ghanaian midfielder Alex Nyarko, 26.

Everton chief Smith agreed a £4.5m fee with Nyarko's French club Lens yesterday.

Smith confirmed: "The player will travel to England to discuss personal terms.

"And if those discussions are successful, he will have a medical."

Manchester City chief Joe Royle and Blackburn boss Graeme Souness have already failed with £3m bids for Coleman this summer.

But Smith desperately needs to bolster his creaking Everton defence before the start of the new campaign.

A swap deal involving Collins and unsettled Fulham midfielder Lee Clark, 27, fell through last month because the Geordie is still keen to return to his native North East.
Source thesun by Dave Kidd
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