Curle to fight disrepute charge

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GUY HODGSON

Keith Curle is to contest the charge brought against him for his altercation with Newcastle United's Faustino Asprilla. The Manchester City defender has asked for a personal hearing after being charged with misconduct by the Football Association.

Although Asprilla elbowed him in his face and then appeared to butt him at the end of the game, Curle was accused of bringing the game into disrepute for "adopting an aggressive attitude".

He will now try to clear his name in front of a disciplinary commission, and is expected to be joined by the Colombian. Asprilla faces two misconduct charges under Rule 26 for the incidents, highlighted on television, in the 3-3 draw at Maine Road on 24 February.

Everton have made an inquiry for Celtic's Scotland international midfield player, John Collins, who would command a fee in excess of pounds 3m. The deal will not go through until after the Glasgow derby on 17 March and would be delayed again if Celtic enhance their championship prospects by beating Rangers. The Goodison Park club have also made an offer of pounds 750,000 for Oldham's England Under-21 goalkeeper, Paul Gerrard.

Alex Ferguson's interest in Milan's Zvonimir Boban has been frustrated. The Manchester United manager hoped to watch the Croat during the Uefa Cup match against Bordeaux on Tuesday but Boban was rested. The Milan coach, Fabio Capello, has also indicated the midfield player will not be sold.

United expect to open the second tier of their new grandstand on Monday when Southampton are the visitors in an FA Cup quarter-final tie. This will swell Old Trafford's capacity close to 50,000 provided they get the go-ahead from safety inspectors tomorrow.

Across Manchester, City look likely to invest in another foreigner after the Georgian Mikhail Kavelashvili impressed in a practice match. The fee for the Spartak Vladikavkaz striker will be pounds 1.1m.

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