Coventryclose to signing Lennon

The next Premiership player to roll off the Crewe Alexandra production line looks likely to be Neil Lennon, who was yesterday talking over a pounds 750,000 transfer to Coventry City.

The Gresty Road development centre, which began the conversion of David Platt from an Old Trafford reject into an England captain and refined the skills of Liverpool's Rob Jones and Middlesbrough's Craig Hignett, got to work on Lennon after he joined the Second Division club on a free transfer from Manchester United's Maine Road neighbours. He had made only one appearance for City at 17, but did not break into the first team again in three seasons.

Now a Northern Ireland international, the 24-year-old is wanted by Coventry's manager, Ron Atkinson, to bolster the midfield of a side that has conceded 49 goals in 26 League games.

"Neil is a more accomplished player now than when David Platt left us,"Crewe's manager, Dario Gradi, said. "He is ready for the Premiership. In fact I am surprised no one has come in for Neil before."

Coventry are also considering offering Birmingham City pounds 1m for Paul Tait. The midfielder, who is recovering from a knee injury, has been allowed to train with the Sky Blues, but he will not be released on loan. Coventry will have to sign him or let him return to St Andrews.

Kevin Cullis has completed a return trip to obscurity via Swansea City by resigning after only seven days as the Second Division club's manager. The Welsh club, second from bottom of the Second Division, caused a stir by appointing Cullis, previously in charge of the youth team at non-League Cradley, despite the fact he had no experience of League football as a player or manager. They lost 1-0 at home to Swindon in his first match in charge on Saturday and after a 4-0 defeat at Blackpool on Tuesday night, he resigned.

Jimmy Rimmer, the former Manchester United and Aston Villa goalkeeper, has taken on the caretaker manager's role at Swansea for a second time.

Gary Megson, the Norwich City manager, has been fined pounds 1,000 and warned about his future conduct after being found guilty on a Football Association disrepute charge. Megson made remarks to referee Jim Rushton at half-time of an Endsleigh First Division match at Derby and was banned from the dug-out for the second half.

Marco Boogers, the striker West Ham signed for pounds 800,000 in the summer, has returned to the Netherlands to play for Groningen on loan until the end of the season.

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