Asprilla's move nears completion

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The Independent Online
Sir John Hall, the chairman of Newcastle, is convinced Faustino Asprilla will soon be transferred to Tyneside. Sir John confirmed personal terms and medical details have now been settled and he sees nothing standing in the way of Asprilla's move from Parma.

"We should hopefully get a work permit and I cannot see any reason why we should not complete the deal with the player. We have gone through the uncertainty of the medicals," he said. "We put people under scanners now which bring things up probably more than they did in the old days when we did X-rays. I wanted clarification because I am running a business and I just wanted everything to be certain."

Asprilla is expected to return to St James' Park later this week to finalise his move, and Freddie Fletcher, the Newcastle chief executive, confirmed that he expected the deal to be completed in the next two or three days.

In a surprise move yesterday, Swansea, currently struggling in the Second Division, named Kevin Cullis as their new manager. Cullis has never played at League level, and since 1992 has been the manager of Cradley Town's youth side in the West Midlands League.

However, the 37-year-old Cullis insisted that the job held no fears for him. "At the end of the day, somebody has to steer the ship and I feel I am quite capable of doing that. If I wasn't, I feel sure the chairman would not have appointed me."

Paul Molesworth, currently doing coaching work for Liverpool, will be Cullis's assistant, while Jimmy Rimmer, who had been the caretaker manager, is to stay with Swansea as youth-team coach.

Chris Kamara, the Bradford manager, has turned down an informal managerial approach from Sierra Leone. The former Leeds and Sheffield United defender's father was born there.

The Republic of Ireland midfielder John Sheridan is to delay a decision on joining Birmingham. The club have agreed a deal with Sheffield Wednesday that would involve Sheridan initially moving to St Andrews on loan. However, Sheridan said: "I'll make a decision later and do what's right for me."

Meanwhile, Birmingham's player-coach Mark Ward has been told he can leave the club on a free transfer after a contract dispute.