Football: Keegan to sign Kitson for pounds 2.25m

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KEVIN KEEGAN will finally get his man today when Paul Kitson joins Newcastle United for pounds 2.25m. The 23- year-old striker will seal his move to Tyneside with a medical and end a transfer wrangle that almost split the Derby County board.

Keegan, who watched his 'lucky' team beat visiting Barnsley 2-1 in the Coca-Cola Cup second round first leg last night, said: 'Kitson will be a Newcastle player by lunchtime tomorrow - I don't see any problems. We have overcome massive internal problems at Derby to get the player.'

The way forward came when the club's majority shareholder, Lionel Pickering, withdrew his opposition. Pickering had resisted the move because he valued the England Under-21 striker at around pounds 4m, but he backed down after he was outvoted 4-1 by his fellow directors.

Pickering was also swayed by Kitson's eagerness to leave. 'He saw he saw it as his big chance,' Pickering said. 'I don't think we can realistically hang on to a player who would rather be elsewhere.' Kitson cost the First Division club pounds 800,000 when he was signed from Leicester in March 1992.