Football: O'Neill set for a shopping expedition

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Martin O'Neill, who is believed to have been promised around pounds 6m from Leicester City's recent share flotation by chairman Tom Smeaton to buy new players, said yesterday that he may be about to make a signing, amid reports linking his club with Manchester City's Georgi Kinkladze.

"There is money available and I will definitely spend it as quickly as I can," O'Neill said. "Of that there is no doubt."

O'Neill is reported to be prepared to sell striker Steve Claridge and midfielder Garry Parker as part of any deal to land Kinkladze.

Liverpool are still hoping that Steve McManaman will sign a new contract and commit his future to the club.

Juventus are reported to be considering an pounds 11m bid for McManaman, but while Liverpool are confident that McManaman will accept their new offer, Juventus have distanced themselves from any deal.

Their English representative Pino Pagliara, who was also Fabrizio Ravanelli's English-based agent, said: "It is a very long time since Juventus spent pounds 10m on anyone, and McManaman is not high on their wanted list. Juventus have never had anyone looking at McManaman."

Middlesbrough hope to complete the pounds 1.6m signing of Juventus striker Michele Padovano today. Boro manager Bryan Robson is close to reaching agreement over personal terms.

Doncaster Belles returned to the top of the women's Premier Division after a 9-2 victory at Berkhamsted Town yesterday. Vicky Exley scored four goals, while Karen Walker hit a hat-trick. The England captain, Gillian Coultard, and Chantel Woodhead scored the other two.

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