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In brief: Inter deny planning £40m bid for Bale

Inter Milan have denied reports that they will bid £40m for Tottenham's Gareth Bale next summer, with CEO Ernesto Paolillo saying "it is not true".

It was reported yesterday that Inter's president Massimo Moratti is considering breaking the British transfer record for a player who has won rave reviews for his buccaneering displays on the left wing for Spurs this season.

But Paolillo said: "It is not true. It is incorrect." A Tottenham source said that suggestions Bale was destined to leave the club at the end of the season were "rubbish".

Benfica playing hardball over Luiz

CHELSEA were still waiting for the signature of Benfica's Brazilian centre-half David Luiz last night, with sources in Portugal suggesting that Carlo Ancelotti's club had been hit by a late price hike taking his value up to £30m.

The deal had already become tortuous, with a dispute about how much money would be paid up front. Benfica had wanted £25m in one instalment and are understood to have rejected Chelsea's offer of £20m, with the rest in several instalments.

The Benfica board is keen to cash in as soon as possible but the club's president Luis Filipe Vieira, who has supremacy over its members, is contending with the unpopularity of the decision to sell the player among the club's fans.

Liverpool hit snag in chase for Warnock

Liverpool hit difficulties in their attempts to secure the services of Aston Villa's Stephen Warnock on loan yesterday, compounding what is proving to be a frustrating transfer window for the club.

Problems in agreeing a deal satisfactory to Villa mean that the arrival of Warnock looks to be in some doubt. If Warnock does not arrive, then Kenny Dalglish may be forced to abandon thoughts of allowing Paul Konchesky to return to Fulham on another loan deal.

Blackpool had received no new offer from Liverpool for Charlie Adam as of yesterday and Ajax are waiting to see if Luis Suarez refuses to play for the club in order to force a move to Anfield.

Celtic win race to sign Commons

Celtic are set to announce the signing of Kris Commons after the Scotland winger finalised his move to Parkhead last night. It's understood that Commons has agreed a three-and-half year deal. The 27-year-old earlier completed a medical at Ross Hall Hospital after Celtic had a bid believed to be in the region of £300,000 accepted by Derby on Wednesday.

Rangers manager Walter Smith had confirmed his interest in the player on Tuesday amid talks between his club and County, but the debt-hit Ibrox club lack the financial muscle to compete with their Old Firm rivals.

Irish Independent