Football: Megson top of Norwich list

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The Independent Online
Football

ALAN NIXON

Norwich City hope to name Gary Megson as their new manager in the next 48 hours. Robert Chase, the First Division club's chairman, has made an approach to Bradford City to ask them to release their assistant manager, who was in charge in a caretaker role at Carrow Road last season.

Chase thinks Norwich made a mistake letting Megson go when Martin O'Neill was appointed and he believes that the return of Megson would have a calming influence on the atmosphere surrounding the East Anglian club.

Megson is working without a contract at Bradford, where he is No 2 to Chris Kamara, but he does not hide his ambitions to take on a manager's job on a permanent basis. Norwich plan to speak to Megson today and offer him the job that was surprisingly vacated by O'Neill at the weekend, after a series of rows with Chase over the financing of the club.

Megson knows the Norwich staff well and, although he could not prevent the club from being relegated in his brief spell at the helm last season, he is highly thought of at Carrow Road. Other people in the running, like Osvaldo Ardiles and Dave Bassett, are down the queue until Megson's fate is decided in talks with Bradford, which are due to take place before the weekend.

O'Neill yesterday confirmed his decision to resign from Norwich. The 43-year-old left the Carrow Road club on Sunday but was understood to have had second thoughts and to be considering a return to the club. But, in a statement yesterday, Norwich revealed that O'Neill was not prepared to withdraw his resignation, which has still not been accepted.

Whether O'Neill's final decision means that he will now be approached by Leicester City over their vacant managerial position remains unclear.

Mark McGhee, who left Leicester and took over at Wolves, is hoping to convince Vinny Samways, the Everton midfielder, to become his first signing for the Molineux club. The 27-year-old former Tottenham player travelled to the West Midlands yesterday for talks with McGhee over a possible loan spell. The move could be made permanent if the loan period works out well, with the fee likely to be in the region of pounds 1.2m.

West Ham are giving a trial to Slaven Bilic, a Croatian international centre-half who plays in Germany for Kaiserslautern. Bilic's visit forms a part of the Hammers' search for a long-term successor to Alvin Martin, who is now 37.

Blackburn, who have just lost Graeme Le Saux with a long-term injury, have learned that Ian Pearce, their England Under-21 defender, faces further surgery on his ankle injury.

Craig Hignett, Middlesbrough's joint leading scorer, needs a hernia operation that could rule him out for up to six weeks.

Howard Kendall, Sheffield United's new manager, has made Michel Vonk his first signing for the Blades. Kendall agreed to pay Manchester City pounds 350,000 for the 27-year-old Dutch defender.

Bournemouth have been fined pounds 5,000, suspended for a year, as a result of crowd trouble during their match against Crewe at Dean Court earlier this season.

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