Football: Forest go for Shipperley

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The Independent Online
NOTTINGHGAM FOREST have agreed a pounds 1.5m deal to buy Neil Shipperley from Crystal Palace. The player was due at the City Ground last night to discuss personal terms.

It seemed for a while that Forest could find themselves with a surfeit of forwards as there were reports than Pierre van Hooijdonk, their Dutch striker, had apologised for saying the club was "not good enough for the Premiership", and was considering returning. Later, Van Hooijdonk's agent, Karel Jansen, denied that the on-strike forward had changed his mind about playing at the City Ground.

Sheffield United are set to sign a Namibian international, Ricardo Mannetti, from the South African side Cape Town Santos. The midfielder, 23, impressed the Blades' chief scout, Lou Macari, in a private friendly yesterday and will have talks about a pounds 200,000 move.

Leeds United are understood to be close to signing the Port Vale winger, Gareth Ainsworth, for pounds 2m. Vale's manager, John Rudge, will let Ainsworth go after lining up Rangers' Steve Boyack as a replacement.

The Leeds chairman, Peter Ridsdale, yesterday called for an overhaul of European competitions, but insisted any super league must be merit- based. "Qualification for European tournaments, irrespective of who is responsible for their organisation, must be on a season-by-season merit basis and have no permanent member clubs," he said.

Spurs have had "preliminary discussions" with the former Engand winger Andy Sinton and the Scotland defender Colin Calderwood over new contracts. Both players' current deals expire at the end of the season.

The proposed move by the former Spurs man, Chris Waddle, to Torquay United has been put on hold because the 37-year-old has a calf strain.