Bradford's £4m move for Wanchope

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The Independent Online

The West Ham striker Paulo Wanchope will decide this weekend whether to join Manchester City or Bradford, after the Yorkshire club matched the £4m asking price for the Costa Rican international.

The West Ham striker Paulo Wanchope will decide this weekend whether to join Manchester City or Bradford, after the Yorkshire club matched the £4m asking price for the Costa Rican international.

Joe Royle, the manager at Maine Road, looked set to clinch a deal for Wanchope following the high-profile signing of George Weah earlier this week, but Bradford's chairman Geoffrey Richmond moved quickly yesterday to agree a fee for the 24-year-old, which would represent a club record. The deal would eclipse the £2.5m Bradford paid Leeds for the midfielder David Hopkin, which in turn outstripped the £1.4m outlay for the defender David Wetherall 12 months earlier.

Richmond, who has taken advantage of Wanchope's indecision over the past few days regarding a switch to Manchester City, said: "We have agreed a deal with West Ham. We have also put our offer to the player following a meeting on Wednesday with his representatives, and those have also been accepted. But the player does have options, in particular Manchester City, and we have been told he will make his mind up on Monday."

The Newcastle striker Alan Shearer will have just one chance to prove his fitness for the club's opening Premiership fixture at Manchester United on 20 August after being ruled out of tonight's friendly at Feyenoord. The 29-year-old former England captain was not included in the 17-man party which flew to Rotterdam last night after struggling to shake off tendinitis in his knee. He has played barely 20 minutes since returning for pre-season training after Euro 2000.

Bobby Robson's side will travel to Spain next weekend to meet Espanyol in Barcelona, a game which Shearer himself admits he needs to play in. Shearer had a scan on the knee earlier this week and, although that revealed no further damage, the injury remains a problem.

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