Football: Juninho's return snarled up in red tape

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The Independent Online
JUNINHO WILL have to wait a little longer to make his second Middlesbrough debut, after it was was confirmed last night that clearance for his loan move from Atletico Madrid had not been completed in time for Boro's Premiership match against Leeds tomorrow.

Bryan Robson, the Middlesbrough manager, had hoped the Brazilian would be registered in time to play at Elland Road, and had included him in his squad to travel south.

He is now likely to make his return at the Riverside Stadium on Tuesday against Chesterfield in the Worthington Cup second round, second leg.

Meanwhile, Middlesbrough are close to completing the pounds 1.5m signing of the Argentinian teenager Carlos Marinelli, while the club captain, Andy Townsend, has agreed to join West Bromwich Albion.

The 36-year-old former Republic of Ireland captain, who played under the Baggies' manager, Brian Little, at Aston Villa, has moved to The Hawthorns for a nominal fee and has signed a contract until the end of next season. He joins the Icelandic international defender Larus Sigurdsson, who has signed a three-year deal after moving from Stoke City for around pounds 350,000.

The Nottingham Forest midfielder Carlton Palmer has joined Coventry City on a three-month loan with a view to a permanent pounds 500,000 move to Highfield Road. The 33-year-old former England international, who had been expected to rejoin his former club Sheffield Wednesday, will not be able to make his debut at Tottenham tomorrow, however, as the transfer forms did not reach the Premier League by yesterday's deadline. Coventry are blaming Forest for the delay and are threatening to take legal action.

Graham Taylor has signed a new three-year deal as manager of Watford, but there was no new job yesterday for another former England manager. Glenn Hoddle had been linked with the vacancy at Reading caused by Thursday's dismissal of Tommy Burns, but yesterday the Second Division strugglers confirmed that Alan Pardew will take care of team selection on a caretaker basis.

Pardew will be assisted by the former England No 2, John Gorman - hence the rumours linking Hoddle with the manager's job. The club's chairman, John Madejski, said the former England manager is welcome to apply for the position.

"We will be pleased to hear from Glenn in exactly the same way as we will be pleased to hear from anybody else interested in the job," Madejski said.