Football: Rejected Everton look to McInally

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The Independent Online
MANCHESTER CITY have turned down an offer of pounds 2m from Everton for their Republic of Ireland international striker, Niall Quinn - the latest in a sequence of transfer setbacks for Howard Kendall, the Goodison Park manager, writes Rupert Metcalf.

After failing to secure Brian Deane from Sheffield United, Duncan Ferguson from Dundee United and now Quinn, Kendall is becoming desperate to find a target man to supplement his forward line. He is now looking at a striker of dubious fitness: Alan McInally, the former Aston Villa and Celtic man.

McInally, 30, was released by Bayern Munich last year following a serious knee injury. After playing for Ayr against Blackburn Rovers in a testimonial last week, he has joined Everton on trial. 'If he is all right we would like to take him for a longer spell,' Kendall said. 'He has worked hard all summer and feels fit enough to have a go.'

Although Quinn is staying, one player on his way from Maine Road is Andy Dibble, the former Luton goalkeeper, who is joining Norwich City for pounds 200,000.

Aston Villa, also in the market for a new striker, are closing in on Guy Whittingham, Portsmouth's top scorer last season, who was pulled out of Pompey's squad for a friendly at Worcester last night at short notice. Villa have made a bid of around pounds 1m (plus midfielder Mark Blake) for the former soldier, who scored 42 League goals last term.

Villa lost a striker yesterday when Cyrille Regis, 35, joined Wolves on a free transfer. Blackburn expect to complete the signing of Andy Morrison, Plymouth's combative central defender, later this week, with the Devon club taking Wayne Burnett, the former Leyton Orient midfielder, and a fee to be agreed.

Roy Keane, Manchester United's summer signing from Nottingham Forest, may be missing from the starting line-up when his new club face Celtic in a friendly at Old Trafford tonight. 'Roy has missed a lot of pre- season training and I think it might be more beneficial for him to train rather than play against Celtic,' Alex Ferguson, the United manager, said. 'This could leave him nearer full fitness in time for Saturday's Charity Shield against Arsenal at Wembley.'