Football: Ginola puts in transfer request

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The Independent Online
Kenny Dalglish, the Newcastle United manager, yesterday confirmed that David Ginola has asked for a transfer.

The unsettled winger made his request in the wake of Newcastle's Uefa Cup exit in Monaco on Tuesday, but he will have to wait to see if Newcastle accept his request - and he could be involved in their Premiership game with Wimbledon at Selhurst Park on Sunday.

"He's asked for a transfer and that will be dealt with in due course," Dalglish said. "The club will discuss it and decide and David Ginola will be the first to know the answer. As long as he's here he's going to be an asset and do the best he can for the club. I'm sure there won't be any adverse reaction from him."

Ginola stayed behind in France after the Monaco defeat but reported for training yesterday morning. The former Paris St-Germain player, who has not been a regular starter under Dalglish, has been hinting at a move for some time and has been linked with a move to Marseilles.

Spirits at St James's Park were given a considerable lift by the news that Alan Shearer is on course to be back in action on 5 April in the North-east derby against Sunderland. Shearer, who is recovering from his third groin operation in 10 months, said: "I've got a good chance of returning against Sunderland. I don't want to say any more unless something goes wrong but things are going well. I started sprinting yesterday and I will be kicking a ball again on Monday."

Dalglish said Les Ferdinand would test out his hamstring injury in training, but added that he would not be rushing the striker back. "We don't want to have any adverse reaction," he said.

Ferdinand broke down 11 minutes into his attempted comeback in the 4- 3 defeat at Liverpool 11 days ago and Dalglish is determined to ensure he is fully fit before making another return to first-team action.

Joe Kinnear, the Wimbledon manager, must make one change to his side as Vinnie Jones is suspended for one game for picking up too many disciplinary points. Ben Thatcher is also out with a thigh strain.