FA investigates Wolves signings

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Football

ALAN NIXON

Wolverhampton Wanderers are to be questioned by the Association about the pounds 1.5m double signing of Frank Corica and Zeljko Kalac from Leicester City.

If they are found guilty of using an unlicensed agent, the Molineux club and two Australians themselves could face hefty fines and suspension.

The deal is now being investigated to find out the possible involvement of a leading German agent in the move. The FA confirmed last night that they are probing the transfer under instructions from Fifa, who demand that all agents lodge a pounds 100,000 bond with them before doing deals.

The FA spokeswoman, Claire Tomlinson, said: "We are writing to the club and asking them which agent, if any, was involved in the deal. We have had reports that an unlicensed agent was involved and it is our procedure to follow that up."

A complaint has been lodged by a rival, licensed agent in England and Wolves will now have to answer to the FA. Fifa are keen to crack down on rogue transfers and Wolves could be punished severely if they are found to have broken the rules.

The winger Corica and goalkeeper Kalac can be fined up to pounds 30,000 each and suspended for a maximum of a year. Wolves and their manager, Mark McGhee, would be hit even harder. The club can technically be suspended for a year and officials fined up to pounds 60,000.

Jon Newsome could return to Sheffield Wednesday as captain for Saturday's important Premiership meeting with Aston Villa. The Hillsborough club have agreed a fee of around pounds 1.5m for the 25-year-old Norwich captain, who began his career with Wednesday, and he will complete the move if he can resolve contractual complications with the Canaries.

Sheffield United are set to spend pounds 750,000 on Dynamo Minsk's Belarus international striker, Petr Kachuro. He has been training at Bramall Lane and played one reserve match.

Mick McCarthy yesterday resisted the temptation to make sweeping changes when he named his first squad as Republic of Ireland manager, for the friendly against Russia in Dublin on 27 March.

"It would be nice to start my new career with a win, but the most important thing is seeing if players can carry out my ideas on the field of play," McCarthy said.

He also revealed he was still pursuing the Tottenham striker Chris Armstrong and Sean Dundee, who plays his football in the Bundesliga with Karlsruhe. "We still have to sort out the question of whether they are eligible under Fifa rules. Chris Armstrong has an open mind on the subject," he said.

The Association of Ireland are expecting a full house of 44,000 for the game at Lansdowne Road.

REPUBLIC OF IRELAND SQUAD (v Russia, Dublin, 27 March): A Kelly (Sheff Utd), Bonner (Celtic), Irwin (Man Utd), G Kelly (Leeds), Kenna (Blackburn), McGrath (Aston Villa), Babb (Liverpool), Phelan (Chelsea), Staunton (Aston Villa), McGoldrick (Arsenal), Houghton (Crystal Palace), Kernaghan (Man City), McAteer (Liverpool), Keane (Man Utd), Townsend (Aston Villa), Sheridan (Sheff Wed), McLoughlin (Portsmouth), Quinn (Man City), Aldridge (Tranmere), Coyne (Motherwell), Cascarino (Marseille), Milligan (Norwich), Morris (Middlesbrough), Daish (Coventry).

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