Football: Liverpool beat Dalglish to Riedle

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The Independent Online
Liverpool are to sign the German international striker Karlheinz Riedle from Borussia Dortmund after agreeing a pounds 1.8m fee - and seeing off a late bid by Kenny Dalglish's Newcastle United.

Roy Evans, the Anfield manager, increased his offer for the 31-year-old yesterday - after Dalglish approached the European Cup holders. Borussia have accepted Evans' bid and Riedle will fly to Merseyside this week to tie up the details on a three-year contract worth over pounds 25,000 per week.

Riedle, who scored twice in Borussia's European Cup final success over Juventus, is keen to come to England to finish his career after being told he was available at the right price. Liverpool made him their first choice after failing to agree a sensible price with Southampton for the Norwegian marksman, Egil Ostenstad.

The Saints have put a prohibitive pounds 10m tag on Ostenstad's head, one of the main reasons why Newcastle also switched their sights to Riedle. Evans persuaded Borussia to drop their original pounds 2.5m valuation, and now Riedle will be an experienced partner for Robbie Fowler or Michael Owen.

Riedle became a wanted man yesterday as Dalglish made a dramatic bid to hijack his move to Liverpool. He saw the marksman as the perfect stop- gap cover for the injured Alan Shearer, who faces a lay-off of up to nine months. Now Newcastle are back to square one, with one major name struck off their shopping list and the alternatives hard to find.

Dalglish has until Friday to sign a striker to play in the Champions' League qualifying round: two games that can open the door to the moneyspinning later stages. Newcastle will also pursue their interest in Norwich's Keith O'Neill in the next few days, but they will have to top a pounds 4m offer from Bolton to secure the Republic of Ireland forward.

The Manchester United manager, Alex Ferguson, will give the Chilean centre- back Dante Poli the chance to play his way towards a pounds 2.4m move tonight.

Ferguson is seeking international clearance to field the young South American against Internazionale in a friendly at Old Trafford as he looks to solve his defensive crisis. Poli has agreed to play and his club, Universidad Catolica, have also given permission for the 21-year-old, who also has an Italian passport, to face the Italians as a trialist.

United need new recruits because their bid for the Brazilian, Celio Silva, is faltering over a work permit problem, while David May has picked up a thigh injury that may rule him out for up to six weeks. With Gary Pallister also struggling for fitness, Ferguson is stretched at the back before the Premier League defence and the Champions' League campaign.

Inter and Barcelona failed to agree terms over the transfer of the Brazilian striker, Ronaldo, in Zurich yesterday. Football's world governing body, Fifa, cleared the transfer last week, but stipulated that Inter must pay more than the pounds 18m penalty clause in Ronaldo's contract.

The two clubs have until 31 July to agree a price above that amount, or Fifa will set a fee at the beginning of September. His transfer from Spain to Italy was not called into question.

The Derby County chairman, Lionel Pickering, is to sell a quarter of his 95 per-cent stake in the club to an unnamed City of London financial institution. The deal could raise up to pounds 10m to boost the Rams' transfer budget.

Ipswich are poised to sign the 23-year-old Bournemouth midfielder, Matty Holland. The clubs have agreed a fee which could rise to pounds 800,000, depending on appearances.

Rangers ready, page 23

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