Batty finally joins Newcastle

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The Independent Online
David Batty was left to his own devices yesterday when Kevin Keegan continued his Newcastle news black-out leading up to Monday's match between the Premiership's two top by refusing to hold a formal news conference to announce the pounds 4m signing of the Blackburn midfielder.

The clubs agreed terms last week and the delay in completing the transfer means that Batty - described by the Newcastle manager as the "last piece in the jigsaw" - will now miss only one match through suspension for his new club, because Blackburn played at Villa on Wednesday.

Batty will sit out the Premiership showdown with Manchester United at St James' Park but will be "raring to go" after that.

Branco is also champing at the bit to get into action for Middlesbrough. The Brazilian international defender cannot wait to play alongside Bryan Robson.

Branco, who is also keen to link up with fellow countryman Juninho, said: "There are not many people in the world who do not know of Bryan Robson. I have a lot of respect for a champion like him."

Branco, a 31-year-old former World Cup winner, yesterday trained with his new club for the first time since his work permit was granted and is in line for a Premiership debut against Everton at the Riverside Stadium tomorrow.

Rangers have completed the signing of the Danish striker Erik Bo Andersen in a deal believed to be worth pounds 1.5m. Andersen was the Danish League's leading scorer with 24 goals last season, helping Aalborg lift the championship for the first time in their 110-year history. He has won four caps and is a strong contender for a place in the squad for the European Championship finals in June.

Raith Rovers have signed the striker Peter Duffield from Airdrie for pounds 150,000.

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