Football: Short set for Blackburn move

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The Independent Online
BLACKBURN ROVERS are poised to sign the Everton centre-back Craig Short for pounds 1.7m - three months after they could have signed him for nothing, writes Alan Nixon.

The Short move was part of a hectic day's transfer activity for Rovers manager Brian Kidd, who looks set to recoup over pounds 1m of that money by selling former England goalkeeper Tim Flowers to Leicester City. If Short, 31, who wants to match his pounds 600,000-a-year, three-year contract, had agreed to join Rovers after talking to them in May, he would have been a free agent.

Leicester have agreed a fee of pounds 1.1m for Flowers with Blackburn, who hope to replace him with Alan Kelly of Sheffield United. Kelly will cost pounds 650,000 with more to follow if he helps Rovers to promotion.

Blackburn have also completed the signing of Simon Grayson from Aston Villa in a deal worth an initial pounds 750,000.

Liverpool continued their successful pre-season campaign with a 4-1 win over Valerenga in in Oslo last night.

Gerard Houllier's side fell behind after five minutes but soon took charge. Karlheinz Riedle struck from close range and Dietmar Hamann made it 2- 1 with a volley from a Rigobert Song cross. Erik Meijer extended the lead and Hamann, playing despite breaking his nose in training, sealed victory.

Sheffield Wednesday cruised to a 1-0 win at Stockport County. Simon Donnelly, the Owls' recent signing from Celtic, scored the only goal, from close range in the 24th minute.

Sunderland's dismal run-up continued as they went down 2-0 at Preston. Goals from striker Jon Macken and winger Lee Cartwright saw them lose to lower-division opposition on consecutive days, following Wednesday's 1-0 defeat to Halifax.