Football: Robson closes in on Ince deal

BRYAN ROBSON, the Middlesbrough manager, will seek to tie up a deal to take Paul Ince to the Riverside Stadium over the weekend in a pounds 1m move from Liverpool.

Robson has agreed the transfer with the Anfield club and is awaiting the outcome of talks over the former England captain's pay-off package before discussing personal terms. The transfer would reunite former international colleagues Ince and Paul Gascoigne at the heart of the Boro midfield.

"Hopefully we'll get a lot closer with Paul Ince. I have spoken to Liverpool, they have agreed on the transfer fee," said Robson. "They had to sort a few things out which I think are getting very close to being agreed. As soon as that happens, then hopefully I can speak to Ince and agree personal terms."

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer's moment of Champions' League glory has cast a giant cloud over the start of Manchester United's season. The Norwegian striker dived along the ground on his knees when he scored the injury-time winner in Barcelona, but Solskjaer's extravagant celebration has caused ligament damage. Solskjaer has felt twinges on United's tour of Australia and came home early to have the injury inspected by the club's medical staff.

United are facing a mounting casualty list as the effects of their treble season takes its toll with the captain, Roy Keane, Ronny Johnsen, Ryan Giggs and Gary Neville all unfit.

The Belgian international Philippe Albert has left Newcastle for pounds 600,000 and signed a three-year contract with his former club Charleroi.

Birmingham City will be without their goalkeeper Ian Bennett for the first month of the season after he broke his finger in training.