Football: Porterfield casts eye over keeper Kharin

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CHELSEA'S search for a new goalkeeper, to replace the out of form Dave Beasant, has prompted Ian Porterfield, their manager, to attempt to arrange a week's trial for Dimitri Kharin, who kept goal for the CIS during the European Championship finals in Sweden.

Kharin, who is 24 and plays for CSKA Moscow, would cost Chelsea around pounds 500,000 were they to sign him. Porterfield said: 'We would like to take a close look at him and are working at bringing him here to train with us.' Kevin Hitchcock, the current first choice, remains on a weekly contract.

Roman Szewcyck, the Polish international defender who recently had a similar trial at Stamford Bridge, has returned to his club, Katowice, and Chelsea will watch him playing in a World Cup qualifier against the Netherlands before deciding on another pounds 500,000 deal.

Porterfield is also having to placate Graham Stuart, his England Under-21 forward, who is apparently unhappy at not commanding a regular first-team place.

Michael Knighton, the man who once tried to buy Manchester United and who is now chairman of Carlisle, yesterday appointed David McCreery, the former Northern Ireland international midfield player, as manager at Brunton Park. He succeeds Aidan McCaffrey, who was sacked on Monday.

McCreery, 35, played for Queen's Park Rangers and Newcastle United after collecting an FA Cup winner's medal with Manchester United in 1977. He was released by Hartlepool last season and appeared for Carlisle in a pre-season friendly. Since then he has been playing on a match-to-match basis with Coleraine, in Northern Ireland.

Les Chapman, of Preston North End, yesterday became the season's second managerial sacking. His departure followed Saturday's home defeat by Hartlepool - which left Preston 17th in the Second Division - and an early Coca-Cola Cup exit. Chapman had been in charge at Deepdale for two years. Sam Allardyce takes over as caretaker manager.

Peter Beardsley, who was overlooked for the European Championships, said yesterday that he hoped to be fit for Everton's televised match at Oldham on Sunday. He therefore has a chance of gaining selection in Graham Taylor's squad for England's first World Cup qualifier, against Norway in a fortnight, which will be announced on Thursday.