Football: Blackburn lead the chase for Kennedy

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The Independent Online
Blackburn Rovers are likely to lead the chase for the Liverpool winger Mark Kennedy, who put in a transfer request earlier this week.

The 21-year-old Dubliner has spent two years at Anfield without becoming a first-team regular. If Liverpool agree to let Kennedy go, Rovers can be expected to bid for his services.

They can certainly afford him, having raised pounds 13m by selling seven players since Roy Hodgson's arrival - pounds 10m in the last week. Kennedy, who cost pounds 1.5m when he arrived from Millwall, is expected to cost around pounds 2m if Liverpool decide to let him go. Blackburn may face opposition from Wimbledon, who tried to sign Kennedy in the summer, and may renew their interest.

Arsenal's Patrick Vieira and Matthew Upson have been suspended for three matches after the Football Association received official notification of their dismissals against PSV Eindhoven in a pre-season friendly in the Netherlands on 30 July.

The bans start on 25 August, which means they will miss Arsenal's north London derby with Tottenham five days later and two other matches. However, Vieira may still escape suspension after the FA agreed to forward video evidence to their Dutch counterparts.

Arsenal produced film of the match believing Vieira was unjustly treated, and the FA spokesman, Steve Double, said: "We have forwarded it to the Dutch FA, who can now show it to the referee and ask him if he thought he made a mistake. If he says he was wrong, Vieira's ban will be lifted."

Tony Adams pulled out of a reserve game yesterday because he was still suffering from a rib injury, but Arsene Wenger, the Arsenal manager, said Adams should still be available for Arsenal's game at Southampton on 23 August, but it will be at least another month, however, before Martin Keown is fit to return.

Premier League officials have arranged to meet their leading continental counterparts on 10 September to discuss problems with fixture congestion, but a League spokesman yesterday insisted there were no plans to break away from Uefa, European football's governing body.

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