Football: City going Dutch over Kinkladze deal

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The Independent Online
GEORGI KINKLADZE, Manchester City's sporadically brilliant midfielder, has flown to Amsterdam to discuss a move to Ajax.

The City manager, Joe Royle, confirmed earlier this month that the Dutch side had made an enquiry about Kinkladze through an agent. No fee has been mentioned, but City reportedly want pounds 5.5m for the 24-year-old Georgian international who joined them in a pounds 2m move from Dynamo Tbilisi in 1995.

Royle is prepared to let unsettled Kinkladze leave Maine Road and has left him out of matches even though the club are teetering on the brink of relegation to the Second Division.

Better news for City yesterday came with Richard Edghill pledging his future to the club. The highly rated full-back has agreed a four-year deal on improved terms.

Across Manchester, the United manager, Alex Ferguson, has agreed to loan Celtic their reserve goalkeeper Kevin Pilkington for the rest of the season as cover for Jonathan Gould.

The Manchester United midfielder Jordi Cruyff began his latest comeback from injury when he played in a reserve match at Preston North End on Monday. Cruyff has been out since he suffered a hairline fracture of his right ankle on 21 February.

United are optimistic they will soon resolve their wrangle with Benfica over Karel Poborsky's unpaid transfer fee. United are still waiting to receive any of the pounds 3m they reportedly agreed with the Portuguese side in December for the Czech Republic international.

Danny Williamson is out of Everton's relegation struggle after having a knee operation. In a further blow, the talented young midfielder, signed from West Ham, has suggested he may quit the club at the end of the season and return to London.

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