SEBASTIEN Perez has rejoined his former club Bastia on loan until the end of the season.

The deal was rushed through yesterday, just in time to beat the French transfer deadline which closed last night.

Perez had been expected to join Marseille, with the two clubs talking over a possible £3 million deal for some weeks.

But nothing was sorted out in time. With Rovers clearly looking to move on the player and Perez wanting a return to France, the loan deal - which came out of the blue - seems to be the answer for both parties.

Tim Sherwood, meanwhile, looks set to sign for Tottenham Hotspur in the next few days, even though he is also wanted by Aston Villa if their multi-million pound move for Brazilian ace Juninho breaks down.

Spurs remain in pole position to capture the Blackburn Rovers skipper and, despite reports to the contrary, a deal still looks likely to go through soon.

Sherwood has already had talks with Spurs, who held Rovers 1-1 at Ewood on Saturday, and it seems that Villa could find themselves left behind as they hang on to try and sign Juninho.

Reports suggest the Londoners are unwilling either to match his personal pay demands or pay the £4 million-plus.

But I understand that Sherwood is close to an agreement with them, even if it does not turn out to be the kind of mega-money deal that was suggested when this deal first cropped up some months ago. Rovers will not stand in the player's way. For, although they are reluctant to comment further, it is clear that the club have made up their minds that they want the long-running saga sorted out.

And they appear to have decided that the best thing for everyone is that Sherwood goes.

His departure, however, will leave a significant gap and they do not have an obvious replacement for him on the present staff.

That could mean another move into the transfer market. Rovers are hoping to pick up a little over £4 million for Sherwood but 30 per cent of their profits on the player who cost them just £500,000 go to Norwich as they have a sell-on clause.

So they are going to have to dig into the transfer kitty once again to find a direct replacement for Sherwood - unless manager Brian Kidd decides that, with Jason McAteer's signing, he has enough midfielders.

The problem is that both Garry Flitcroft and Billy McKinlay are injured at the moment and Rovers' lack of strength in midfield has been underlined by having to play Jason Wilcox there.

Tottenham boss George Graham was full of praise for Matt Jansen, who marked his Rovers debut with a stunning goal.

And he admitted that it was never going to be any easier playing against 10 men than 11, after Jason Wilcox's dismissal.

"The young boy Jansen scored a great goal. He's still serving his apprenticeship and he's probably a buy for the near future. "But I thought he did very well. It was a lovely goal."

Kidd today explained his reasons for "gagging" the players after Saturday's stormy match.

"I was only concerned with protecting my players," he explained. "It's something I learned from Sir Matt Busby when I was a player.

"Football is a very emotional game and I did not want them involved in saying anything confrontational in the heat of the moment."

Rovers Reserves take on Leicester at Ewood tonight (kick-off 7pm). The squad is: Fettis, Worrell, Croft, Konde, Coughlan, Brown, Corbett, Scates, Taylor, Thomas, Fitzpatrick, Richardson, Murphy, Burgess, Forsyth, Stewart.

A Steve Foster hat-trick gave the Academy under-17s a 3-3 draw at Everton from an excellent performance. But the under-19s were disappointing as they lost 2-0 at home to Everton.

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