Football: Ferguson no friend to Foe

MANCHESTER UNITED'S manager, Alex Ferguson, has pulled out of the race for the Cameroon international Marc-Vivien Foe, leaving the way open for the midfielder to move to West Ham.

Ferguson revealed last night that he will not try to sign Foe from the French side, Lens, this season, even if it means losing out on him to the Hammers, who are hoping to do a quick deal.

Foe was at Old Trafford in August for a medical, but was not judged fully fit after a leg break that also ruled him out of the World Cup finals.

Ferguson has watched him since, but because Lens used Foe in the Champions' League - briefly, as a substitute in the last game - there is little point in United buying him immediately, as he is cup-tied.

The United manager denied last night that the club's plc board had blocked move for Foe, and said: "We felt that due to his injury we should look at him over the season. We were prepared to wait, but if he goes elsewhere we wish him well.

"Now he has got an opportunity to move, I think he will do well, he's a very good player. We will stand back from that one."

Foe's British representative has been in discussions with West Ham's manager Harry Redknapp for the past four days and a fee should be agreed shortly. West Ham may have to pay up to pounds 4m for Foe, and if he signs it could lead to the sale of Eyal Berkovic. The Israeli playmaker is wanted by Newcastle United.

The Blackburn Rovers manager Brian Kidd has made a new pounds 2.5m offer for Crewe's promising youngster, Seth Johnson, but the struggling First Division club have turned down an instalment package and the option of a player swap because they want a lump sum to build a new stand.

Blackburn's latest bid is pounds 1.5m up front and the rest in appearances, but Crewe need pounds 2m now to renovate their main stand at Gresty Road. Kidd hopes a compromise figure can be reached to tie up Johnson, who can play in midfield or at left-back.

Crystal Palace's Italian international Attilio Lombardo flew to Rome last night in the hope of completing a move to Lazio. The First Division club confirmed that their midfielder and former caretaker manager was talking with the Serie A side.

Lombardo, who has 18 Italian caps, played 24 times for the Eagles as they slipped out of the Premiership last season and has been a regular this term as they have tried to bounce back. The 33-year-old now looks likely to follow manager Terry Venables and striker Matt Jansen out of Selhurst Park.

Palace are reported to owe Lombardo bonus money and have agreed to release him immediately from his contract.

The Palace chairman and owner Mark Goldberg is facing mounting financial problems and is looking to cut his expenses further, after Venables stepped aside as team manager and pounds 4.1m Jansen moved to Blackburn. Goldberg said: "Attilio has served Crystal Palace well. Obviously we are very sorry he is leaving but it is the same situation as with Matt Jansen. If we are not going to be in the Premiership next year then it is very difficult to keep him at the club."

A First Division side hoping to keep hold of one of their most talented players are Wolverhampton Wanderers, who yesterday said their Irish striker Robbie Keane was "priceless" and was not for sale.

Wolves' manager, Colin Lee, laughed off stories that the likes of Middlesbrough and Arsenal were preparing pounds 5m bids for the 18-year-old, who is Molineux's leading scorer this season with 14 goals.

"Talk of pounds 5m is a joke," said Lee. "That wouldn't even buy one of his arms and it's his legs which are supposed to be valuable. The stories are rubbish. Bryan Robson is supposed to have spoken to me about him yesterday but I haven't spoken to Robson for ages. In fact, no-one has ever phoned me about Robbie Keane, or made an offer."

More news, page 26

Voices
On the last day of campaigning before the polling booths open, the SNP leader has written to voters in a final attempt to convince them to vote for independence
voicesIs a huge gamble on oil keeping the First Minister up at night?
Life and Style
techApple has just launched its latest mobile operating software – so what should you do first?
Arts and Entertainment
Pointless host Alexander Armstrong will voice Danger Mouse on CBBC
tv

Much-loved cartoon character returns - without Sir David Jason

Arts and Entertainment
Liam Neeson said he wouldn't
tv

Liam Neeson's Downton dreams

PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment
Actor and director Zach Braff
tv

Arts and Entertainment
Rosalind Buckland, the inspiration for Cider with Rosie died this week
booksBut what is it like to be the person who inspires a classic work of art?
Arts and Entertainment
tv

Arts and Entertainment
The former Doctor Who actor is to play a vicar is search of a wife
film

Matt Smith is set to join cast of the Jane Austen classic - with a twist

Arts and Entertainment
tvReview: An undercooked end (spoiler alert)
Arts and Entertainment
Lionel Messi in action for Barcelona
filmWhat makes the little man tick?
News
i100
Arts and Entertainment
Pharrell dismissed the controversy surrounding
musicThe singer said 'the last thing I want to do is degrade'
Sport
Cesc Fabregas celebrates his first Chelsea goal
footballChelsea vs Schalke match report
Arts and Entertainment
Toby Jones (left) and Mackenzie Crook in BBC4’s new comedy The Detectorists
tvMackenzie Crook's 'Detectorists' makes hobby look 'dysfunctional'
Life and Style
fashion

Olympic diver has made his modelling debut for Adidas

News
i100
Caption competition
Caption competition
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Primary teaching jobs in the Swaffham area

£21552 - £31588 per annum: Randstad Education Cambridge: Are you a fully quali...

Year 1 Teachers needed for day to day roles

£110 - £130 per day + Competitive rates of pay: Randstad Education Reading: Pr...

Primary General Cover Teachers needed

£110 - £130 per day + Competitive rates of pay: Randstad Education Reading: Pr...

Year 2 Teachers needed for day to day roles

£110 - £130 per day + Competitive rates of pay: Randstad Education Reading: Ye...

Day In a Page

Mystery of the Ground Zero wedding photo

A shot in the dark

Mystery of the wedding photo from Ground Zero
His life, the universe and everything

His life, the universe and everything

New biography sheds light on comic genius of Douglas Adams
Save us from small screen superheroes

Save us from small screen superheroes

Shows like Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D are little more than marketing tools
Reach for the skies

Reach for the skies

From pools to football pitches, rooftop living is looking up
These are the 12 best hotel spas in the UK

12 best hotel spas in the UK

Some hotels go all out on facilities; others stand out for the sheer quality of treatments
These Iranian-controlled Shia militias used to specialise in killing American soldiers. Now they are fighting Isis, backed up by US airstrikes

Widespread fear of Isis is producing strange bedfellows

Iranian-controlled Shia militias that used to kill American soldiers are now fighting Isis, helped by US airstrikes
Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Shoppers don't come to Topshop for the unique
How to make a Lego masterpiece

How to make a Lego masterpiece

Toy breaks out of the nursery and heads for the gallery
Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Urbanites are cursed with an acronym pointing to Employed but No Disposable Income or Savings
Paisley’s decision to make peace with IRA enemies might remind the Arabs of Sadat

Ian Paisley’s decision to make peace with his IRA enemies

His Save Ulster from Sodomy campaign would surely have been supported by many a Sunni imam
'She was a singer, a superstar, an addict, but to me, her mother, she is simply Amy'

'She was a singer, a superstar, an addict, but to me, her mother, she is simply Amy'

Exclusive extract from Janis Winehouse's poignant new memoir
Is this the role to win Cumberbatch an Oscar?

Is this the role to win Cumberbatch an Oscar?

The Imitation Game, film review
England and Roy Hodgson take a joint step towards redemption in Basel

England and Hodgson take a joint step towards redemption

Welbeck double puts England on the road to Euro 2016
Relatives fight over Vivian Maier’s rare photos

Relatives fight over Vivian Maier’s rare photos

Pictures removed from public view as courts decide ownership
‘Fashion has to be fun. It’s a big business, not a cure for cancer’

‘Fashion has to be fun. It’s a big business, not a cure for cancer’

Donatella Versace at New York Fashion Week