Football: Newcastle increase bid for Speed

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The Independent Online
Newcastle United made a pounds 5.5m bid for Everton's transfer-seeking captain Gary Speed yesterday and hope to complete the deal in the next 24 hours.

Kenny Dalglish is keen to take his spending spree beyond pounds 10m in a matter of days by capturing the Welsh international midfielder Speed with a new improved offer.

Speed is in the mood to move after refusing to play for Everton at West Ham last week and his gesture has been matched by Newcastle, who have added pounds 1m to their previous bid for him.

The Football Association will investigate the trouble which marred Reading's FA Cup replay against Cardiff City at Elm Park on Tuesday. A female steward was hit in the face and a ball girl was shoved in separate incidents during the tie, which Reading won on penalties.

An FA spokesman, Steve Double, who was at Elm Park, said they would be looking into the last night's incidents. "We're awaiting the reports from the referee and the police before deciding what action, if any, to take," he said. "But there is no comparison with the Portsmouth incident because nothing as serious as that happened."

Manchester United claim they are still in the race to sign Carlisle United's Matt Jansen. The Old Trafford club and Crystal Palace have made offers for the 20-year-old striker. Palace feel they have the edge over United because they are ready to offer Jansen first-team football, whereas he would have to serve his apprenticeship in the reserves at Old Trafford.

The Old Trafford chairman, Martin Edwards, said: "We have shown an interest and we made an offer to Carlisle for Matt Jansen last week. We're still waiting to hear back from Carlisle."

Wimbledon have lodged a complaint with the European Commission in Brussels against the Football Association for refusing to allow them to move to a new stadium in Dublin.

The London club want to take up an offer they say has been received from an Irish syndicate, headed by a property developer, Eoin O'Callaghan, and Paul McGuinness, the manager of the rock group U2, to move to a purpose- built 60,000 seat stadium on the outskirts of Dublin.

Arsenal look set to offer new one-year contracts to Steve Bould and Nigel Winterburn to ensure the Premiership's oldest yet most admired defence stays together for at least another season. Bould, 35, and Winterburn, 34, reach the end of their current Highbury deals this summer and, unless offered improved terms, would be entitled to leave the club on free transfers under the Bosman ruling.

Chelsea's Ed de Goey and Arsenal's Marc Overmars have been cleared to play in the second leg of the Coca-Cola Cup semi final at Stamford Bridge on 18 February. They have been given permission to arrive late for the Netherlands' World Cup warm-up matches in the United States later this month. Likewise, Nottingham Forest's Pierre van Hooijdonk can play in a First Division fixture against Huddersfield the previous day.

The Leicester City manager, Martin O'Neill, was fined pounds 2,500 by the FA yesterday after being found guilty of insulting and improper language towards the referee Jeff Winter after the game against Everton on 28 December.

The Liverpool manager, Roy Evans, has recalled the midfielder David Thompson from his loan spell at Swindon after Jason McAteer suffered a broken leg against Blackburn Rovers last Saturday.

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