Football: Babb ready to leave: 3.75m pounds move to Liverpool imminent

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(First Edition)

THE Phil Babb transfer saga should finally come to an end later this week when Coventry's Republic of Ireland defender completes a pounds 3.75m move to Liverpool.

Babb, 23, handed in a written transfer request yesterday and in a short statement, the club said: 'We have had an approach from Liverpool and in the light of Phil's request we have given permission for him to talk to them.' Babb was at The Dell last night to watch Liverpool's match against Southampton.

Coventry are looking abroad for a replacement for Babb and are interested in signing Joachim Bjorklund IFK Gothenburg for pounds 1m.

Chris Armstrong, the Crystal Palace striker, is staying at Selhurst Park after signing a new four-year deal. Armstrong, 23, had been linked with a number of clubs, including Everton.

Alan Smith, the Palace manager, said: 'The signing is a positive move. It is vitally important that we keep our best players and Chris is an exciting prospect for both club and country. The best is yet to come.'

Armstrong said: 'I'm happy at Palace. I've enjoyed my first two years and am looking forward to being involved in the exciting times ahead.'

Jan Age Fjortoft, Swindon Town's Norwegian international forward, has ended speculation about his future by signing a new contract which will keep him at the County Ground until 1999.

John King, the Tranmere manager, is angry over the loss of winger Pat Nevin for Saturday's First Division game against Sheffield United at Prenton Park. Nevin has been called up by Scotland for the European Championship qualifier in Finland next Wednesday and Craig Brown, Scotland's manager, insists that Nevin misses the match.

'It is ludicrous really. There seems no reason why he should not turn out to play for us before joining up with the international squad,' King said.

Shane Givens, the teenage goalkeeper signed by Blackburn from Celtic to provide cover for Tim Flowers, is poised to make his Republic of Ireland debut next Tuesday in the European Under-21 Championship tie against Latvia.

Jovan Kirovski, the Manchester United junior, has been called up for the first time by the United States for next week's match against England. The Americans include 15 of their World Cup squad, including eight of the side that lost to Brazil in the second round.

USA SQUAD (v England, Wembley, 7 Sept): Friedel (Newcastle), Sommer (Luton), Lapper (USSF), Balboa (USSF), Caligiuri (USSF), Lalas (USSF), Dooley (Bayer Leverkusen), Klopas (USSF), Moore (USSF), Harkes (Derby), Perez (USSF), Stewart (Willem II Tilburg), Jones (USSF), Kerr (Millwall), Sorber (USSF), Reyna (USSF), Bates (USSF), Kirovski (Man Utd).