Football: Kidd turns his attention to Kinsella

THE BLACKBURN Rovers manager, Brian Kidd, has switched his transfer search to the Charlton Athletic midfield schemer, Mark Kinsella.

Kidd has opened negotiations for the Republic of Ireland international after giving up hope of persuading West Ham to sell their captain, Steve Lomas. Rovers badly need some midfield reinforcements because of an injury crisis - although they are not guaranteed to have much success with Kinsella either.

Blackburn are willing to pay about pounds 3.5m but Charlton value their former Colchester United playmaker at closer to pounds 5m.

With both clubs involved in the relegation tussle, Charlton will be reluctant to sell unless Rovers' offer is too good to refuse. Kidd is without Billy McKinlay and Garry Flitcroft in midfield, and has been trying for Lomas for the past fortnight.

Aston Villa have abandoned hopes of trying to sign the Celtic defender, Alan Stubbs, after the Scottish club refused to drop their pounds 6.5m asking price.

The Villa manager, John Gregory, has refused to increase his final offer of pounds 4.25m for the former Bolton player. Now he is now looking elsewhere for a new centre-half. Ugo Ehiogu will be out of action for six weeks after undergoing a second operation yesterday to repair a fractured eye socket.

Sheffield Wednesday may have to wait another two weeks before learning whether the Dutch striker, Michael Mols, is Hillsborough-bound. They have made a pounds 2.5m bid for the 27-year-old Utrecht striker, who is also being chased by Ajax and other top Dutch clubs.

Utrecht have issued Mols with a two-week deadline to either sign a new deal to add to his existing one with the club - which still has another 15 months to run - or to move on.

One man who wants to leave Hillsborough is the long-serving goalkeeper Kevin Pressman, who was upset at losing his place to Pavel Srnicek for Wednesday night's Premiership game against Wimbledon.

Nottingham Forest's latest recruit in their battle against relegation from the top flight is the former Scotland, Rangers and Tottenham defender Richard Gough. The 37-year-old has arrived at the City Ground on loan from Major League Soccer. He played for San Jose Clash during the last United States season.

Steve Stone wants to leave Forest, however, because he feels the club have not matched his ambitions. "All I want to do is enjoy the second half of my career where I will be challenging for some cups, and playing in big games," the former England midfielder said.

Bradford City last night completed the signing of Dean Windass from Oxford United.

The 29-year-old former Hull City and Aberdeen striker will cost pounds 950,000 plus a further pounds 50,000 if the West Yorkshire side win promotion to the Premiership this season.

Middlesbrough's former England midfielder Paul Gascoigne has been given a one-match ban and fined pounds 2,000 by the Football Association, after reaching 11 bookings this season.

Robbie O'Brien, a Republic of Ireland Under-18 international winger who was released by Middlesbrough earlier this season, has reportedly signed a five-year contract with Juventus. He was recommended to the Italian club by the former Boro forward Paul Merson.

Liverpool's Rob Jones is facing a new knee operation that could cost him a huge financial deal at West Ham. The former England right-back has seen a specialist after breaking down in a reserve game - and the verdict is more surgery to repair the problem.

Jones could be out for the rest of the season. He is a free agent in the summer and has already had talks with West Ham about a lucrative contract, but that could now be in jeopardy until he recovers.

Manchester City's Georgian international defender Kakhaber Tskhadadze is to travel to Germany for a career-saving operation on ruptured knee ligaments. The 30-year-old central defender will be out until at least the start of next season, even if all goes well.

Alan Curbishley has been named Carling "Manager of the Month" for February. The Charlton manager was given the award for leading his side on a four- game unbeaten run during the month.

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