Football: Thomas' Palace pledge

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The Independent Online
GEOFF THOMAS said yesterday he was happy to start the new Premier League season with Crystal Palace. With Arsenal set to offer Palace a British record pounds 3m for the signature of the England midfielder, Thomas pledged his loyalty to his manager, Steve Coppell, who wants to keep him.

'I signed a four-year contract a couple of months ago with Palace. That shows that I am keen to stay with the club and ambitious to do well with them,' Thomas said. 'Nothing has changed from a couple of months ago.'

'The club has not accepted it (the pounds 2.5m bid) and until they do I'm out of the game. I've just got to carry on. I've got to concentrate on getting as match fit as I can.'

Peter Reid, the Manchester City player-manager, is to travel to the Netherlands on Monday to try to secure the signature of Arthur Numan, the 21-year-old FC Twente midfielder.

Alan Shearer's move to Blackburn is still in the balance. Southampton's England striker is set to join Blackburn with pounds 3.2m in cash changing hands - and David Speedie moving to The Dell in exchange for a pounds 400,000 fee.

The only hitch in the deal seems to be Speedie. Shearer may be ready to move to Rovers - but Speedie appears reluctant to commit himself.

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