Football: Cooke joins City for pounds 1m

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The Independent Online
MANCHESTER CITY have signed Terry Cooke from their neighbours United in a pounds 1m deal. The Manchester City manager, Joe Royle, has agreed to pay over the top for the popular winger, who has been a success on loan and can now play for Second Division side for the rest of the season.

Cooke signed a three-year contract yesterday 24 hours before he was due to go back to Old Trafford, after weeks of negotiating. The two clubs have settled on a fee of pounds 600,000 up front with a possible further pounds 400,000 in instalments based on how Manchester City do.

"We have possibly paid over the top," Royle said. "He could have moved for less at a tribunal in the summer, but it was going to be this way because of the circumstances. We have paid a premium because we have had three good months out of Terry already that has let us get a look at the lad.

"We're happy with the deal, United are happy and the player is happy. It's just a question of getting him to put pen to paper. The problem is that his girlfriend is due to give birth at any moment, but if it means getting the forms to the delivery room then that's what we'll do."

Robbie Fowler will appeal to the Football Association about his two- game ban for rude gestures towards Graeme Le Saux, backed by new video evidence. The Liverpool striker was found guilty of the offence last week, but now has a tape from the BBC that shows that the Chelsea left-back struck him more than once.

Fowler's appeal means that he can carry on playing this season while the FA sets a new date for his hearing. However, Fowler will be missing at the start of next season. Even if the Le Saux ban is lifted, he would begin the new campaign suspended.

Dundee are planning to groundshare with Airdrie in Cumbernauld if construction work at their Dens Park home is not completed by 31 July. It would mean Dundee supporters making a round trip of 160 miles to see their side.

The Serie A side Sampdoria will provide the opposition against Sunderland for Kevin Ball's testimonial at the Stadium of Light on 31 July.

Ball, the former Portsmouth midfielder, moved north in July 1990 and has been a key figure in Sunderland's achievements over the last nine years, culminating in promotion to the Premiership, which was confirmed at Bury on Tuesday night.

The Sampdoria president, Enrico Mantovani, is delighted to be providing the opposition for the 34-year-old's big day. "We are very pleased to accept the invitation to play Sunderland at the Stadium of Light," he said. "It is important to honour a player who has been a vital part of their team for so long."

An all-star XI will take on a Peter Reid XI to kick off the day.

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