Football: Kuhl for County

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The Independent Online
DERBY yesterday signed the midfielder, Martin Kuhl, from Portsmouth for pounds 650,000 which takes Lionel Pickering's outlay to pounds 12.25m in less than 11 months since he bought control of the Rams (on acquiring shares, wiping out debts, and buying players).

Portsmouth's manager, Jim Smith, is likely to use some of the Kuhl fee to re-sign Mick Quinn, who is unsettled at Newcastle and only in the team while Gavin Peacock is injured. Smith, ironically, originally signed Quinn for Newcastle from Pompey.

The 27-year-old former Birmingham player, who has a reputation as a fierce tackler, makes his debut against Southend today. Derby recouped some money when the full-back, Mark Patterson, joined Preston for pounds 100,000.

The Chelsea manager, Ian Porterfield, has taken his spending this season beyond pounds 4m by signing the utility player David Hopkin - who recently had a trial at Stamford Bridge - from Morton for pounds 300,000. The Chelsea midfielder, Damian Matthew, has joined Luton Town on a month's loan.

Arsenal's Ian Wright is unlikely to be the subject of a Football Association investigation following the Millwall coin-throwing incident. Wright collapsed to the turf in the midweek Coca-Cola Cup tie at Highbury claiming that he had been hit on the back of the head by missile - 'probably a 50p piece' - allegedly thrown by a Millwall fan. But an FA spokesman said yesterday: 'We have the referee's report and there is no mention of anything being thrown at Wright. There is nothing in the pipeline as far as the player is concerned.'

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