Big stage beckons Shearer

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The Independent Online
Euphoria on Tyneside following the signing of Alan Shearer for a world record fee of pounds 15m knew no bounds yesterday. While Newcastle's more affluent fans snapped up newly-available season tickets at pounds 1,500 a time, Sir John Hall, the chairman, promised a 60,000-seater stadium befitting the heirs apparent to the Premiership title, writes Clive White.

With 10,000 fans on the waiting list for season tickets, Sir John accepts the need to move away from the confines of St James' Park. "If you are an ambitious club then 36,000 is just not enough," he said.

In Bangkok yesterday, Faustino Asprilla responded to the threat posed by Shearer by scoring in Newcastle's 2-1 victory over a Thai national XI. Robert Lee was the other scorer.

Manchester United are hoping that Karel Poborsky, their Czech signing, will receive clearance in time to play in a four-club tournament in Nottingham this weekend. United are due to face Ajax on Saturday while Forest play Chelsea, with the winners meeting on Sunday. Poborsky is set to join his new team-mates in Milan today for a friendly against Internazionale.

Everton have signed the goalkeeper Paul Gerrard from Oldham for pounds 1.5m. Joe Royle, the Everton manager, returned to his former club to buy a player whose arrival could signal the departure of Neville Southall. Royle moved for the 23-year-old after Leeds beat Everton to sign Crystal Palace's Nigel Martyn for pounds 2.1m last week.

Sheffield Wednesday are poised to complete the signing of Wayne Collins from Crewe for pounds 600,000. However, the arrival of Attilio Lombardo from Juventus for pounds 4m has been put back 24 hours because the player is required by his club for a friendly in Switzerland.

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