Football: Liverpool in hunt for Serrant

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The Independent Online
Roy Evans, the Liverpool manager, has been in talks with Oldham about signing their England Under-21 full-back Carl Serrant, who is also being tracked by Blackburn, Leeds and Leicester. West Bromwich Albion have already bid pounds 600,000.

Serrant's contract is up in the summer when, under the Bosman ruling, he could leave for nothing. Oldham want pounds 1m, but Liverpool may offer a package deal worth that in installments.

Peter Ridsdale, the Leeds chairman, said yesterday he was "disappointed" that Rod Wallace and Gary Kelly had not signed long-term contracts with the club. Kelly still has a year left, but Wallace will be a free agent in the summer and Risdale has made it clear that he will not be held to ransom.

"Rod Wallace would appear to wish to wait," Ridsdale said. "If he carries on with his stance, we must take the view that he may not be here beyond the end of the season."

Leeds were also unhappy at yesterday's news that Harry Kewell has been selected to play for Australia in this month's Confederation Cup in Saudi Arabia. Kewell has been included in a 20-strong squad who also include Mark Bosnich of Aston Villa, Stan Lazaridis of West Ham and Southampton's Robbie Slater.

Australia's assistant coach, Raul Blanco, said that under Fifa rules clubs had no option but to release their players and he was adamant that all those selected would be in Saudi Arabia for the eight-nation tournament. "Clubs just don't have a leg to stand on," Blanco said. "Legally, they can't do it."

Juventus are reported to be considering buying a 10 per cent stake in Crystal Palace. The Italian club's vice-president, Roberto Bettega, was due to attend last night's game at West Ham.

Manchester United will have a fourth look at the Chilean striker Marcello Salas before the end of the month. United scout Martin Ferguson, younger brother of manager Alex, is to fly to South America to see the 22-year- old play for his Argentinian club side, River Plate.

Gary Mabbutt, the Tottenham defender, has told new coach Christian Gross he still wants to play for the club, despite being left out of Saturday's match at Everton. The 36-year-old, whose contract runs out in the summer, has been with Spurs for 15 seasons.

Across north London, Arsenal are reported to be interested in the St Johnstone full-back Callum Davidson, after an impressive performance against Rangers last Saturday.

Meanwhile, the Perth club's attempts to sign Swedish striker Lars Gunnar Karlstrand could be thwarted by Britain's quarantine rules. The player is stalling over a move to Scotland after learning he may have to leave his pet rottweiler, Ted, in Sweden.

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