Football : Dalglish bid for Murphy refused

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The Independent Online
Kenny Dalglish has had a pounds 1.5m bid for Crewe's Danny Murphy rejected by the Second Division club. The Newcastle United manager wanted to sign the teenage striker with the cash he raised from selling Paul Kitson.

Liverpool apparently have first option on Murphy. Dalglish has made an offer that the Anfield club will not match, but Crewe's manager, Dario Gradi, would rather keep Murphy at the moment and sell the midfielder Gareth Whalley instead.

Whalley has recently been at Liverpool on trial, but there appears to be no prospect a permanent deal at the moment.

The England goalkeeping coach, Ray Clemence, has denied that he will be working for Southampton when his England duties allow, as weekend reports had suggested. "I'm not employed by Southampton in any capacity. I have a full-time job as the Football Association's national goalkeeping coach," the former Liverpool and Tottenham keeper said yesterday.

Graeme Sharp has been "severely censured" by the Football Association after being found guilty of misconduct for comments made to a referee while he was the manager of Oldham Athletic. Sharp, who left the Boundary Park club two weeks ago, made the remarks to the Cambridgeshire referee, Mike Bailey, at half-time during Oldham's 2-1 win over Manchester City on 21 December.

John Toshack is interested in the vacant Blackburn Rovers manager's job. The Welshman is available for a return to British football after leaving the Spanish club, Deportivo La Coruna, and he has let Rovers know he is keen on the post. He has not worked in domestic club football since his spell at Swansea over a decade ago.

Brian Laws, the former Grimsby manager, is the new manager of Scunthorpe United. He replaces Mick Buxton, who ended his second spell at the Humberside club by mutual agreement earlier this month.

Laws, sacked by Grimsby last November, is the 22nd managerial change at Scunthorpe since World War II. Mark Lillis, who was in charge for last Saturday's home win over play-off chasing Colchester, has been upgraded from coach to assistant manager.

Leicester City's manager, Martin O'Neill, is interested in signing Port Vale's left-winger Steve Guppy in a pounds 1m deal. Vale are poised to sell Guppy, who played under O'Neill at Wycombe, after he rejected a new contract offer.

The Aston Villa midfielder Sasa Curcic has put in a transfer request - which will mean him losing at least pounds 100,000 in bonuses. Curcic would still have been entitled to the money - mainly from signing-on fees - had he not formally asked for a move.

Manchester City's manager, Frank Clark, wants conclusive contract talks with Steve Lomas, who has attracted interest from Coventry. Clark is going to ask the Northern Ireland midfielder if he is keen to extend his deal at Maine Road. If not, he could be sold quickly.

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