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Football: Sky have an eye on the Maine chance

RUPERT MURDOCH'S BSkyB have opened talks with Manchester City about buying a stake in the club - less than a year after their takeover bid for neighbours United fell through.

The satellite station has been in discussions with the club for the past few weeks and a delegation met the City chairman, David Burnstein, last night.

City have become a more marketable proposition since earning promotion last season and heading straight to the top of the First Division. Sky could acquire a share of around 10 per cent for around pounds 5-6m - with the potential of a further pounds 10m for Joe Royle, the club's manager, to spend on new players. There are several possible sellers within Maine Road including the brewers Greenalls. Sky are allowed to acquire just under 10 per cent of City as they already have interests in Leeds United and a block of Manchester United shares.

Mark Kinsella learned yesterday that he will be available for Charlton Athletic's First Division fixture with Grimsby Town next week.

Kinsella was expected to miss the Blundell Park game because it coincided with Ireland's Euro 2000 play-off against Turkey. However, the Charlton captain is suspended for the first leg and Mick McCarthy, the Ireland manager, has released the midfielder to play for Charlton before re-joining for the second leg on 14 November.