Football / FA Cup Countdown: Walker is preparing swoop on Scandinavia

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MIKE WALKER, the Everton manager, is looking at three Scandinavian players. Michael Stensgard, dubbed 'the new Peter Schmeichel', has been asked to undergo a trial at Goodison. He is the Danish Under- 21 keeper and would cost a six-figure fee if signed from Hvidovre.

Yet Walker will not release Neville Southall. 'He's got a few good years left at Everton,' Walker said. 'You only have to watch Neville in training to see how good he is.'

Jan Eriksson, the Swedish defender, may have to wait until the end of the month before joining Everton from Kaiserslautern for pounds 1m. The German club want to line up a foreign replacement first. Walker has also been linked with PSV Eindhoven's Swedish midfielder, Klas Ingesson.

Liverpool are also looking overseas with the highly rated American international goalkeeper, Brad Friedel, a possible long-term successor to Bruce Grobbelaar. The Merseysiders have been tracking the 6ft 4in 22-year-old, who made his name in the last Olympics. Liverpool's main rivals are Celtic who have already given Friedel a trial.

Swansea's Welsh Under-21 midfielder, Jason Bowen, yesterday started a trial at Newcastle United and may complete a pounds 300,000 transfer later this week if he impresses.

Management of Midland Independent Newspapers, last night offered to meet the board at Birmingham City in an attempt to resolve a row over alleged lack of sponsorship and support. But first the club must withdraw threats to damage the newspaper firm's business, MIN said.

The profits from Wales's friendly with Norway on 9 March will go to the family of John Hill, the fan killed by a marine-distress flare at last November's game with Romania.