Football: Liverpool to increase bid for McAteer

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Liverpool, spurred into action by Blackburn Rovers' interest in Jason McAteer, will today make an increased bid of around pounds 4m for the Republic of Ireland international after having an offer rejected by Bolton Wanderers yesterday.

Roy Evans, the Liverpool manager, hoped to prise McAteer from Burnden Park with a deal comprising Nigel Clough plus cash. Bolton refused that, but will be more tempted by a money-only offer. Yesterday they agreed that McAteer could talk to interested clubs, including Blackburn and Arsenal. McAteer has made no secret of his wish to move to Anfield.

McAteer has not yet joined the Republic of Ireland squad for their European Championship qualifying match in Austria on Wednesday. He has a knee injury and was expected to join the squad in Dublin last night, but failed to arrive.

Ewood Park remains the probable destination of Alan Stubbs. Blackburn made an pounds 8m offer for both Bolton players last week and are unlikely to let themselves be outbid by Arsenal for the England B defender.

Tony Adams, who captains England in the friendly against Colombia, nearly walked away from Arsenal this summer before they backed the appointment of Bruce Rioch with a pounds 20m transfer fund.

Adams, who has made more than 450 appearances in nearly 12 years at Highbury, had lost faith with George Graham's regime. "It entered my head to leave," he said yesterday.

"We were mediocre in the league - inconsistent, which I do not like. After being so successful, I do not want to play in the Premiership up against it with mediocre players. I'm a bit selfish like that. I want the ball going up the other end so I can get my cigar out and have another nice seven or eight years."

Matthew Le Tissier, overlooked by England, is wanted by Bobby Gould, Wales's new manager. Le Tissier has represented England, but not in a competitive match, so is still eligible for the other home countries.

Nathan Blake, the Sheffield United striker, yesterday became the third player to withdraw from Gould's squad to play Moldova in Cardiff on Wednesday. Blake pulled out after a bout of sickness. John Hartson (Arsenal) and David Hughes (Southampton) have come in.

Craig Brown, who has decided against calling up Scot Gemmill of Nottingham Forest as midfield cover, is pondering switching to a 3-4-3 formation at home to Finland as a result of the absences of Stuart McCall and Paul McStay. Blackburn's Colin Hendry is expected to play despite a broken toe.

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