Belfast Telegraph

Transfer news and speculation, 30 May

Espanyol have turned down an offer from Liverpool for their Spanish international Albert Riera.

The Reds are believed to have tabled an offer of around €12m (£9.5m), but that falls considerably short of the La Liga club's valuation. Riera enjoyed a successful loan spell at Manchester City in 2006, but has flourished since returning to his homeland. Xabi Alonso's move to Juventus, meanwhile, appeared to be drawing closer last night after the player's agent Inaki Ibañez was reported to have flown to Turin for discussions. Ibañez was reported to have agreed a four-year contract. Liverpool are believed to be asking for around £16m.

Nasri's arrival moves closer

Arsenal yesterday maintained that reports of them signing Marseilles' midfielder Samir Nasri for £12.5m are premature. But the French international's arrival is likely to take place in the next couple of days, and could hasten the exit of Alexander Hleb, with Barcelona said to be preparing a bid – although Arsène Wenger maintains that Hleb will not be allowed to buy out the remaining two years of his contract. It is believed that Arsenal will make no formal announcement of Nasri's signing until all documents, including international clearance, are completed.

Berger heads to Sparta Prague

The former Czech Republic midfielder Patrik Berger has returned to his homeland after agreeing to leave Villa for Sparta Prague. The 34-year-old has signed a two-year deal with Sparta 13 years after leaving Slavia Prague. Berger has also played for Borussia Dortmund, Liverpool, Portsmouth and Stoke City.

Lloris opts for Lyons switch

The Nice goalkeeper Hugo Lloris, who had been linked with a move to Tottenham, said yesterday he was joining the French champions Lyons to replace the France No 1 Gregory Coupet, who is leaving the club after a decade. Lloris, 21, said: "I didn't hesitate for a second. There's no better place for me to keep improving."

Sebo signs for Valenciennes

Rangers have confirmed the sale of striker Filip Sebo to the French club Valenciennes for an undisclosed fee. The 24-year-old Slovakian enjoyed a successful loan spell at the Ligue 1 club, scoring four goals this season. Despite scoring only twice for Rangers in 33 games after moving from Austria Vienna in 2006 for £1.8m, Sebo became a cult figure at Ibrox due to his boundless enthusiasm.

Yesterday's completed moves:

Russel Martin (Wycombe) to Peterborough; Free

Wayne Carlisle (Exeter) to Torquay United; Free

Patrik Berger (Aston Villa) to Sparta Prague; Free

John McCombe (Hereford United) to Port Vale; Free

Colin Hawkins (Coventry City) to Brighton; Free

Filip Sebo (Rangers) to Valenciennes; Undisc


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