Football: Ferguson set to lure Fowler from Anfield

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The Independent Online
ALEX FERGUSON is preparing to make an offer to Liverpool for their unsettled England striker, Robbie Fowler. The Manchester United manager is believed to be offering a cash-plus-player package to match the Anfield club's pounds 12m valuation of Fowler.

It is understood Ferguson will not make a formal offer until he returns from holiday, but that attempts to bring Fowler to Old Trafford are already under way. The player has also been linked with moves to Arsenal and Chelsea in recent weeks.

Ferguson knows he may have to trade players this summer and he is in a position to offer Liverpool various options as part of the Fowler transfer. Teddy Sheringham, Jesper Blomqvist and even Nicky Butt and Phil Neville could be made available.

Sheringham, who has a year left on his contract, has helped United win the FA Cup and Champions' League, but his long-term future looks to be as a squad player. Besides Fowler, Ferguson has also been linked with a move for Blackburn's Chris Sutton.

The Liverpool manager, Gerard Houllier, is due to meet Fowler to discuss his future this week, but is unlikely to know the details of United's offer at that time.

Another club interested in securing Sheringham's services is Birmingham City, who have admitted they are considering a bid, reportedly around pounds 2m. David Gold, the club's chairman, said: "Somebody came to us and said to us `would we be interested in Teddy Sheringham in the event he became available?' and we said `yes we would'. That is far as we have gone."

A pounds 2m fee would break the transfer record at St Andrew's that stands at the pounds 1.6m they paid Coventry City for Peter Ndlovu.

Peter Taylor, the former England Under-21 manager, is to have talks with Sheffield United about their managerial vacancy. Taylor will be interviewed for the post as a late candidate to replace Steve Bruce.

Norwich have appointed the former Tottenham, Liverpool and Nottingham Forest coach Doug Livermore as assistant to manager Bruce Rioch. He replaces Bryan Hamilton, the former Northern Ireland manager, who has taken up a position with the side's Football Academy.

Scott Sellars has been released by Bolton Wanderers following their failure to win back a Premiership place.