Football: Keegan lines up Belgian

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TWO more players from the World Cup finals found their way to English clubs yesterday and a third, Philippe Albert, the adventurous Belgian central defender, is expected to sign for Newcastle today, writes Clive White.

Coventry gained consolation for failing to sign the popular American central defender, Alexi Lalas, when his team- mate, Cobi Jones, a midfielder, agreed a 12-month contract with a two-year option, while Notts County completed the signing of Nigeria's Michael Emenalo on a free transfer from RWD Molenbeek.

Anderlecht have said they will not accept less than pounds 3m for Albert, who scored two goals in the finals, and it is understood that a fee has been agreed. The player had dinner with Kevin Keegan, the Newcastle manager, last night to discuss a contract.

Albert, 26, has a reputation for possessing a temperament similiar to that of Eric Cantona, and was suspended for the opening match of the finals, but he has matured into a major force in Belgian football.

Coventry have yet to agree a fee with the United States Soccer Federation for Jones but it is likely to be about pounds 300,000. Bryan Richardson, the Coventry chairman, said: 'He is box office and we hope he will bring a spark to the place.'

Mircea Sandu, the head of the Romanian federation, said that a proposed friendly between England and Romania at Wembley, tentatively arranged for 12 October, would go ahead despite opposition from their coach, Anghel Iordanescu.

Middlesbrough have signed Alan Miller, the Arsenal goalkeeper. The fee will be decided by a tribunal.

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