Football: Swedish shopping trip for Dalglish

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The Independent Online
Kenny Dalglish has lined up a young Swedish defender, Olaf Mellberg, as his second surprise signing for Newcastle United.

The Under-21 international centre-back was due to fly to Tyneside last night for talks. Swedish sources suggested that Dalglish had spotted Mellberg, who plays for Degerfors, when he was scouting for Rangers.

Mellberg, outstanding for Sweden in November's Under-21 international against Scotland, was due to speak to Rangers about a pounds 1.5m transfer but Dalglish has now moved in on behalf of his new employers.

Mellberg, like the Portuguese Under-21 defender Raul, who arrived at St James' Park earlier in the week, would be an investment for the future - but his arrival would put pressure on Newcastle's defenders, who have been under heavy criticism.

Mark Robins, Leicester City's Coca-Cola Cup hero, could be on his way to Bolton Wanderers for pounds 400,000. Colin Todd has made an offer for the former Manchester United striker, who scored the winner at Ipswich on Tuesday in a rare appearance for Leicester. The Bolton manager wants Robins to compete with the 38-goal partnership of John McGinlay and Nathan Blake, after failing with bids for other strikers.

Bolton were turned down yesterday by Newcastle's Paul Kitson, despite a pounds 2m deal being set up - he wants to stay and prove himself under Kenny Dalglish. Todd is keen to bring someone in quickly, as McGinlay is struggling with a calf injury and he has little in the way of cover for Blake.

Blackburn Rovers and Sunderland are competing for the Polish World Cup striker, Marek Citko. The Rovers chairman, Robert Coar, faxed Widzew Lodz with a new offer yesterday after Blackburn's bid to sign Citko on loan was refused.

Blackburn's caretaker manager, Tony Parkes, said: "The deal we put to them was based around a loan until the end of the season with a view to a permanent transfer, but they have turned it down."

Sunderland's manager, Peter Reid, is interested if the price does not exceed pounds 3m. Citko is keen to come to England after visiting Blackburn last week, and is prepared to join Sunderland if they offer the same personal terms as Blackburn.

Tony Yeboah's stormy spell at Leeds United could soon be over with a move to VfB Stuttgart. The Bundesliga team have targeted the Ghanaian striker, who was a major success with Eintracht Frankfurt in his previous spell in Germany, and are expected to ask Leeds to take him on loan with a view to a permanent deal in the summer.

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