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Football: United move to keep Kidd from Everton

MANCHESTER UNITED are offering Brian Kidd a pay rise and a chance of becoming the next manager to stop him moving to Everton. Kidd has been in negotiations with United's plc for the past few days about the threat of leaving to become Howard Kendall's replacement.

Everton have already made an approach to United for Kidd, Alex Ferguson's assistant manager, and the Old Trafford club have been talking to Kidd about an improved contract and, above all, his long-term future.

Ferguson has admitted he will retire in the next few years and Kidd is concerned that Bryan Robson, the former United captain and current manager of Middlesbrough, is the favoured candidate to replace him. However, Kidd may emerge from the negotiations with that guarantee in his new deal or some form of assurance that his position would be safe in a new regime.

Everton are offering Kidd the chance to become his own man immediately, a prospect that also interests him.

Kidd is Everton's first choice to take over from Kendall, who was sacked yesterday after three weeks of waiting for the news to be delivered by the Goodison chairman, Peter Johnson. Martin O'Neill was the favourite for the job until he chose to stay at Leicester. O'Neill would not quit for Everton while Kendall was still in a job and now the opportunity may have passed although he could yet re-emerge as the leading candidate if Kidd stays at United.

Johnson dismissed Kendall before last night's board meeting, the minutes for which revealed the decision had been made three weeks ago.

Since then Johnson has been trying to find a replacement from his Jersey base and from his yacht in the south of France.

Yet Everton were yesterday maintaining that Kendall's third spell at the club was ended by mutual consent. Kendall said: "I leave with regrets but I know our supporters will understand this club deserves success."

Johnson said: "It saddens me because Howard is a man of the highest integrity and I'm bitterly disappointed that his third term in office did not end on a successful note."

Steve Bruce's move to become Sheffield United's new player-manager has hit a stumbling block over the amount of compensation Birmingham City would receive for their captain. Birmingham will free Bruce if he goes into management, but want a fee for him if he is to continue playing. United are reluctant to pay for the transfer as well as his wages.

Brian McClair, a former team-mate of Bruce at Manchester United, was on the move yesterday as he confirmed he is returning to Motherwell, the club where he started his senior career. The 34-year-old former Scotland international has signed a three-year deal at Fir Park.

Mickey Adams is quitting as manager of Brentford to become a coach at First Division Huddersfield Town. Adams is unhappy at Brentford, where his position has been undermined with the arrival of Ray Lewington from Crystal Palace. Adams, squeezed out of Fulham, will team up with Peter Jackson and Terry Yorath.

Brentford, meanwhile, confirmed Ron Noades as their new chairman. Noades was the Crystal Palace chairman before Mark Goldberg's pounds 22m takeover at Selhurst Park.

Tony Swaisland has stepped down as Brentford chairman, but will remain on the board.