Football: Shearer bid dismissed by Newcastle

Click to follow
The Independent Online
Newcastle yesterday refuted claims that they have received a staggering pounds 20m offer from Barcelona for the England captain, Alan Shearer.

The Magpies' pounds 15m world record signing had been linked with a move to the Spanish club as replacement for the Brazilian star Ronaldo, who is said to be on his way to Italy before the start of next season, but these reports have been shot down by the Newcastle chief executive, Freddie Fletcher.

"The position is that we know nothing about it. We have not received any offer for Alan Shearer," he told ClubCall.

"We bought Alan Shearer because we believe he is a world-class player, not to make any money out of him by re-selling him. Alan Shearer will not be for sale from Newcastle United at any price."

Barcelona are managed by the former England manager Bobby Robson, who at one stage was favourite to succeed Kevin Keegan at St James' Park.

He will need a world-class striker if Ronaldo is lured to Italy by either Lazio or Juventus, who are both reported to have made pounds 30m offers.

However, Newcastle's manager, Kenny Dalglish, is ready to rebuild the side he inherited from Keegan in January around Shearer. Shearer returned to his Tyneside roots in a blaze of publicity last summer when Keegan signed him from Blackburn.

He is Newcastle's leading scorer despite missing two months of the season through injury and made his comeback from a third groin operation in 10 months last weekend, scoring in a 1-1 draw with Sunderland.

Franz Beckenbauer will travel to Switzerland with the German football federation executives next week in a bid to persuade European governing body Uefa to back Germany's bid for the 2006 World Cup.

The former World Cup winning captain and coach has been given a leading role in the German federation's campaign to host the finals.

Both England and Germany, who are involved in a battle to get crucial Uefa support, will meet officials from the governing body in Geneva on 17 April.

Uefa believes Europe should put forward just one candidate to soccer's world governing body, Fifa, which makes a decision on the venue in the year 2000.

South Korea and Japan were involved in a bitter and expensive battle to host the 2002 event and were eventually awarded the finals jointly.

Uefa wants to avoid a similar situation in Europe. But the Germans have ruled out any ideas of a joint bid with England.

Last weekend the Fifa general secretary, Sepp Blatter, made it clear Fifa did not require Uefa to back just one candidate. Even if rejected by the European body, England would be able to continue their bid.

''The Fifa rules at the moment do not require a continent to put forward just one candidate," he said.

Fifa yesterday upheld a life ban on the former World Cup referee Kurt Rothlisberger, who was accused of corruption.