Football: Kendall survives crisis talks

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The Independent Online
THE Everton manager Howard Kendall made a pounds 3.5m bid for the Bolton Wanderers midfielder Alan Thompson yesterday as he tried to buy his way out of trouble.

Kendall made his offer after a crisis meeting with the Goodison Park club's chairman, Peter Johnson, about his future. The beleaguered Everton manager wants permission to speak to Thompson today about a switch to Merseyside and also hopes that Johnson will back him in his spending plans.

Everton are also set to take Alex Cleland free from Rangers when his contract at Ibrox expires next month. The 27-year-old will be the fourth right-back Kendall has signed since his return to Goodison.

Meanwhile, Kendall has denied that his job was on the line at his meeting with Johnson. "I had a chat with the chairman and he's not hinted at anything like that," he said. "I'm just getting on with my job and trying to plan for the pre-season and next season."

Sheffield Wednesday have hit back at Ron Atkinson's outburst after his dismissal as the Hillsborough manager. Atkinson has claimed he was "betrayed by weak men" after the chairman, Dave Richards, told him he would not be offered a new contract - even though he had kept the club in the Premiership.

Richards said he was not impressed by Wednesday's finish which saw them win just two of their last nine games. "We've been strong and not weak," he said. "Obviously Ron's pride has been hurt and I can understand how he's feeling. But we've taken a decision which we feel is necessary for the long-term future of the club. Ron only wanted to commit himself for one more year, but we're looking at the long-term picture."

The Middlesbrough midfielder Craig Hignett, a free agent this summer, is to join Aberdeen on a lucrative two-year contract.

West Ham have denied that their French goalkeeper, Bernard Lama, has joined his former club, Paris St-Germain. The Hammers plan talks to keep Lama at Upton Park.

Julian Joachim, the former Leicester striker, has turned down the offer of a new five-year contract at Aston Villa.

Rangers' new coach, Dick Advocaat, is bringing the Dutch international left-back Arthur Numan to Ibrox from his former club, PSV Eindhoven for pounds 5m - a record Scottish fee.

The Republic of Ireland have called up five uncapped players for Saturday's friendly with Mexico in Dublin: Dean Kiely (Bury), Richard Dunne (Everton), Gary Doherty (Luton), Gerard Crossley (Celtic) and Barry Quinn (Coventry).

Tottenham Hotspur have announced increases of up to 12 per cent in season- ticket prices for the 1998/99 season. Despite relegation from the Premiership, Bolton are also raising their admission prices.