Football: Lightbourne opts for Coventry move

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The Independent Online
Coventry City have beaten Sheffield Wednesday to the signature of Kyle Lightbourne, Walsall's Bermudan international striker, with the fee likely to be decided by a tribunal. Eoin Jess has left Coventry to rejoin Aberdeen for pounds 650,000.

Steve Sedgley, Ipswich's former Tottenham utility player, is set to join Wolves after talks with Mark McGhee yesterday.

Paul Bracewell, the Sunderland and former England midfielder, has followed Peter Beardsley in turning down the chance to succeed Lou Macari as manager of Stoke, who hope to sign Port Vale's Tony Naylor as a replacement for Mike Sheron, who has moved to Queen's Park Rangers.

Dario Gradi, the Crewe manager, has agreed a pounds 2m fee with Tottenham and Liverpool for Danny Murphy, the England Under-20 midfielder. "There's no pressure on him to go," Gradi said, "but if they want him to spend a season in their reserves first, then he might as well play for us."

The Football League could follow their Continental counterparts if the introduction of a long-term loan system is given the go-ahead later this month.

Foreign clubs already have the provision for taking players on-loan for up to a season and a similar suggestion recently received widespread support at the Football League's Chairmans' Conference in mid-June.

Existing arrangements, which will remain unaltered, allow five players to be signed in any one season and no more than two at any one time. However, the system could be supplemented by the introduction of new rules which would allow clubs the opportunity to take on two additional players on a long-term basis.

Chester's manager, the former Welsh international Kevin Ratcliffe, has hung up his boots after a career spanning almost 20 years.

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