Football: Mattsson signs up for Forest

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The Independent Online
THE SWEDISH international Jesper Mattsson yesterday completed his pounds 300,000 switch to Nottingham Forest - and insisted he was not worried about the club's struggle against relegation.

The 30-year-old central defender has joined Forest from Halmstad after impressing Dave Bassett, the Forest manager, while on trial at the City Ground. Mattsson admitted: "It's a dream move for me. Forest's position in the Premier League doesn't worry me, I'm just grateful to have been given the chance to join them."

Bassett is expected to resist the temptation to thrust Mattsson straight into Forest's match at Leicester on Saturday, but he insists the newcomer has not just been signed to provide defensive cover.

"I'll expect to see Jesper pressing for a first-team spot just as soon as he has settled down in Nottingham," Bassett said. "He's not here to provide cover and the other central defenders at the club should be aware of that."

Middlesbrough have told Clayton Blackmore, Vladimir Kinder and Gary Cronin that they can all leave the Riverside Stadium.

Blackmore, the 34-year-old former Welsh international, will be allowed to leave on a free transfer after four and a half years with the club, but Kinder, the Slovakian international defender, will command a fee for his services despite failing to secure a regular first-team place this season. Cronin, 19, has returned to his family home in Dublin and Middlesbrough have informed Irish clubs of his availability.

The Leicester City manager, Martin O'Neill, is planning to cash in on Oxford United's financial problems by making a pounds 500,000 bid for the striker Dean Windass.

Oxford raised pounds 250,000 yesterday by selling their left-back, Chris Marsh, to Birmingham City.

Birmingham's manager, Trevor Francis, said: "We are getting him for a good price."

Peter Beardsley has left Fulham following the expiry of his month-long contract at Craven Cottage. The former England international had been on loan from Bolton prior to joining Fulham on a month-to-month contract following his release by the Reebok Stadium club.

Fulham have signed the midfielder Francois Keller - the brother of West Ham's Marc - from the French club Strasbourg for pounds 30,000.

Sheffield Wednesday are giving a trial to the striker Zeljko Radovic, who plays for the Austrian club Grazer AK. He is also wanted by the Scottish side, St Johnstone.

The Hartlepool United midfielder, Gustavo Di Lella, has been fined two weeks' wages by his club over an alleged attack on the Fulham defender, Simon Morgan.

The 25-year-old Argentinian was disciplined and also left out of the team for Tuesday's Auto Windscreens Shield match at Chester following an investigation by his club.

Di Lella was accused of punching Morgan in the player's lounge after last Saturday's FA Cup second-round tie at Craven Cottage, which Kevin Keegan's side won 4-2. "We have acted quickly in fining Gus and suspending him from Tuesday's game, and Fulham are happy with what we have done," the Hartlepool manager, Mick Tait, said yesterday.

The Southampton manager, David Jones, is giving trials to two Hungarian internationals: Zoltan Kovacs and Janos Matyus.

Kovacs, a 25-year-old striker who plays for Ujpest Dosza, and Matyus, a 23-year-old defender from Kispest-Honved, are both spending this week training at The Dell with a view to completing permanent deals if they impress.

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