Football: Blackburn's pounds 4m Chapuisat offer

Blackburn Rovers' next foreign acquisition could be the Borussia Dortmund striker Stephane Chapuisat. Blackburn yesterday offered pounds 4.2m for the Swiss international, who is likely to be sold by the European Cup finalists.

Chapuisat, 28, is one of five players that Roy Hodgson has earmarked for the club before his arrival from Internazionale. Rovers have also made approaches for another Swiss, the midfielder Ciraco Sforza.

Shay Given, Blackburn's 20-year-old reserve goalkeeper looks certain to join Newcastle. The Republic of Ireland international is reported to have agreed a five-year contract with the Tyneside club, with Kenny Dalglish prepared to pay pounds 2m for the out of contract player to circumvent a transfer tribunal. Newcastle have also asked Internazionale to be informed if Paul Ince becomes available for transfer.

Glenn Hoddle learned yesterday that Manchester United have withdrawn Gary Pallister from England's summer schedule. The central defender will undergo surgery tomorrow after results of a scan revealed he will need a cartilage removed.

The 31-year-old will now miss the friendly with South Africa at Old Trafford on 24 May, the World Cup qualifier in Poland a week later and the four- nation tournament in France in June.

Another United player who will not be competing for his country this summer is Denis Irwin, who has pulled out of the Republic of Ireland squad for next Wednesday's World Cup qualifier against Liechtenstein at Lansdowne Road. The 31-year- old defender is troubled by a groin injury.

There was better news for Ryan Giggs, who will be fit for the start of next season following precautionary surgery against a hernia yesterday.

Controversy continues to dog Alex Ferguson, whose description of the Premier League as a "tiddlywinks league" has incurred the ire of its chief executive, Peter Leaver. The United manager's damning assessment follows his criticism of the League last month when it refused to alleviate United's congested fixture list.

Leaver said: "It seems that Manchester United feel they should be given consideration which other clubs may not get, but I have to be even-handed."

Slaven Bilic arrived at Everton yesterday following a pounds 4.5m transfer from West Ham, making him football's most expensive defender.

The Bradford City manager, Chris Kamara, is attempting to lure Peter Beardsley from Newcastle United, with the added bait of a coaching role.

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