Football: Robson's pounds 5m Kanchelskis bid

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The Independent Online
Middlesbrough announced their intent to be a big club in deed as well as by reputation yesterday when the Premiership newcomers moved to the head of the queue forming for the services of Manchester United's Andrei Kanchelskis.

Bryan Robson made a pounds 5m bid for the unsettled Russian winger after Kanchelskis scotched all hope of staying at Old Trafford in a personal attack in the media on the United manager, Alex Ferguson. "My heart is with United," he said, "but I can't stay for one reason - and that's the manager.''

Blackburn, Everton, Leeds and Tottenham are are also interested but Kanchelskis has expressed a preference for joining Robson, a former team-mate at United. Grigory Esaulenko, his advisor, said: "I think Andrei would sign for Bryan Robson in five minutes. He needs a manager who has belief in him. We also think Bryan is going to build a very good team.''

The Republic of Ireland international Jason McAteer is also at loggerheads with his club, Bolton, and handed in a written transfer request, which was immediately refused. Team-mate Alan Stubbs is likewise said to have a "strong desire" to leave.

"We have to consider the interests of Bolton above all," Roy McFarland, the manager, said. "I have not taken this job to come here and sell our best players."

Jeremy Goss may be luckier, however. He has asked for a move from Norwich, a club he has been with for 12 years, yesterday and was given a sympathetic reception from his manager, Martin O'Neill. "I can appreciate the frustrations of anyone who has been at one club for such a long time," he said. "Sometimes you're treated as part of the furniture.''

Southampton's Matthew Le Tissier has resumed training after an X-ray on an inflamed heel revealed no need for surgery. Steve Bull has turned down a move from Wolves to Coventry. Sunderland have signed the United States international goalkeeeper, Brad Friedel, for pounds 600,000.

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