Football: Shearer poised to make comeback

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The Independent Online
There was good news for Newcastle and England supporters yesterday when Kenny Dalglish announced that Alan Shearer was ready to return to action. Carl Liddle reports.

Kenny Dalglish, the Newcastle manager, has promised to make a "responsible" decision on Alan Shearer's fitness before today's game with Bolton at St James' Park.

Dalglish yesterday revealed that Shearer had completed a full training session without suffering any adverse reaction to his injuries and would be considered for selection.

The England striker has been out since damaging ankle ligaments in the Umbro tournament at Goodison Park last July.

"Alan is in consideration. He's done everything expected of him in training," Dalglish said. "He's gone through all the extensive routines he has to go through and has shown no reaction to his injuries. There was just a little bit of soreness after Tuesday's practice match."

Shearer is poised to make his comeback, but Dalglish stressed that he would not take risks with his pounds 15m striker. "We'll make a decision on Alan as responsible men," he said. "We're not going to be stupid but he's done very very well in training and I repeat - he's in consideration."

At Shearer's old club, Blackburn Rovers, manager Roy Hodgson has made a surprise pounds 6m bid for the Italian striker Pierluigi Casiraghi. Hodgson is waiting for a reply from Lazio about an inquiry on the table, that could now be activated, to bring Casiraghi to Ewood Park.

Lazio are trying to tie up a pounds 13m deal for Chilean striker Marcelo Salas, once a Manchester United target, with his club River Plate this weekend, which Hodgson hopes will mean that Casiraghi will be available.

A medical stands between Faustino Asprilla and a move from Newcastle back to Parma. The fee, believed to be just over pounds 6m, has been agreed and the deal seems likely to be completed over the weekend.

Sasa Curcic's proposed move to the Turkish club Besiktas has broken down, at least until the summer. The Aston Villa midfielder, signed from Bolton Wanderers 18 months ago, had been in Istanbul for talks with Beskitas' coach, John Toshack.

Ruud Gullit has asked Fifa, the game's world governing body, to help stop his players missing vital Premiership games through international games. The Chelsea manager's squad could be depleted by friendlies and training camps leading up to the World Cup, and Gullit is hoping for some give and take.

"We are still arguing to keep our players here," he said. "They earn their money here. Their priorities must be here. I'm not at war with Fifa. I just want to explain the situation and I hope I can rely on a bit of compassion."

Sam Hammam, the Wimbledon chairman, has asked for patience from Dons supporters after a plan to move the club to a new purpose-built venue near their old Plough Lane ground fell through. Problems with capacity, parking, layout and feasibility have caused the club to go back to the drawing board.

"If a suitable site exists, then I'm confident the council will help us find it and make it work," Hammam said.

The French goalkeeper Bernard Lama is back at West Ham after failing to secure a move to a club in France and is now set to stay for the rest of the season. Lama is unhappy that he has not been given a chance after joining the Hammers on loan and returned home last week to try to find first-team football in order to keep his World Cup hopes alive.