Football: Dalglish denies rift with board

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Just a week from the start of the Premiership season, Newcastle United seem to be in a state of mild confusion. While their manager, Kenny Dalglish, was denying reports of a rift with the board yesterday, Peter Beardsley was making it clear that he is still interested in joining Bolton Wanderers, despite the Magpies temporarily blocking his pounds 500,000 move.

In a statement released through his agent, Beardsley said: "At this moment the deal is on hold. However, I am hopeful that in the near future the matter could be resolved. Bolton have agreed to maintain their interest and keep an eye on the situation."

Newcastle announced on Wednesday that they were no longer willing to sell Beardsley, as he will be needed to play in the Champions' League qualifying matches against Croatia Zagreb later this month following the sale of Les Ferdinand and the loss of Alan Shearer through injury.

Dalglish was unrepentant about putting the move on hold: "Fortunately for the club, Peter had not signed, so the club have every right to say: `We don't want you to go'."

The Bolton manager, Colin Todd, left without a new striker for the start of the Premiership campaign, was not so happy. "I think somewhere along the line Newcastle have lost their credibility as far as we are concerned at our football club," he said.

Dalglish, unhappy with that appraisal, responded: "Peter Beardsley is a Newcastle player and Colin Todd should not be talking about him."

Dalglish also denied reports that there was a rift between himself and the Newcastle board over Beardsley's move. There have been suggestions that the directors overruled their manager and blocked the transfer against his wishes.

However, Dalglish said: "There is no one here undermining my job. If there was, I wouldn't be here. I've never negotiated transfers or wages. I didn't do it at Blackburn and I didn't do it at Liverpool."

Despite his apparent non-involvement in transfers, Dalglish was involved in talks with the Norwegian striker, Stig Johansen, who flew into Tyneside for a trial yesterday. Johansen scored a hat-trick for his club, Bodo/Glimt, when he was watched by a United scout, Chris McMenemy, recently. He is expected to travel with the Magpies when they play Juventus in Cesena tomorrow.