Football: Forest build for future with Cooper

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The Independent Online
WHILE attention remained focused on possible departures from the City Ground, Frank Clark, the Nottingham Forest manager, made his first signing yesterday.

Brian Clough's successor paid pounds 1.5m to his new club's First Division rivals, Millwall, for Colin Cooper, the 26-year-old former Middlesbrough and England Under-21 defender.

Clark has also offered Stuart Pearce, the England full-back, an improved pay deal, while he is waiting for Manchester United to make an offer for Roy Keane, Forest's unsettled midfield player, who has expressed a desire to join the Old Trafford club. However, United do not agree with Clark's valuation of Keane. 'We certainly won't pay pounds 5m,' Martin Edwards, their chairman, said, 'even for a player as great as he is.'

Rangers have increased their bid for the Dundee United striker, Duncan Ferguson, to pounds 3.5m - which tops Leeds United's offer by pounds 300,000.

The Inland Revenue investigation into football transfer deals has prompted one Premier League club to settle a pounds 1m tax demand without argument after legal advice. Another four Premier League clubs have paid six- figure sums in fines and back-taxes, while three leading players have made large repayments.