Megson ready to move for Fiorentina striker

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The Independent Football

The West Bromwich Albion manager, Gary Megson, is aiming to sign the Greek striker Georgis Vakouftsis on loan from Fiorentina.

Vakouftsis, who impressed against England at under-21 level last season, is being allowed out on loan to gain more experience. Although he has played three times in Serie A, he has been left on the bench since arriving in Florence and needs some regular games.

Negotiations look to be faltering as Manchester City attempt to sign St Etienne's Lucien Mettomo. The defender has been at Maine Road for the past two days, but while the City manager, Kevin Keegan, is willing to pay £3m for the Cameroon international, the cash-strapped French club are asking for £4.5m.

The Sunderland midfielder, Alex Rae, has completed his £1.2m move to Wolverhampton Wanderers. The 32-year-old former Millwall player could make his debut at Walsall tomorrow.

Crystal Palace have completed the loan signing of the Middlesbrough defender, Steve Vickers. The one-month deal could lead to a permanent transfer for the 33-year-old who could make his debut in Saturday's match against Barnsley at Selhurst Park.

The Birmingham City manager, Trevor Francis, is set to sign the Danish midfielder, Christian Poulsen, from FC Copenhagen for £3m. Poulsen is an under-21 international and helped his club win the Danish title last season.

Wimbledon have succeeded in having the suspensions of Paul Heald and Darren Holloway overturned.

Goalkeeper Heald was dismissed for deliberate handball outside the area against Watford 10 days ago, but after watching the incident again on video, match referee Mike Pike decided that the offence was accidental. The Football Association has reduced Heald's red card to a yellow, and he escapes a ban.

Defender Holloway's dismissal for a professional foul in the match against Portsmouth last Wednesday turned out to be a case of mistaken identity by referee Dermot Gallagher. His one-match ban has now been transferred to his team-mate, Chris Willmott.

The Nottingham Forest midfielder, Jermaine Jenas, has signed a new five-year contract with the club.

The Aberdeen goalkeeper, David Preece, has been ruled out for a month after breaking his foot while moving some furniture. The Livingston striker, David Fernandez, has also been ruled out for a month following a knee operation.

Motherwell have had applications from as far afield as Brazil, France, Italy and Spain for their vacant manager's job, according to the club's chief executive, Pat Nevin. The Scottish Premier League's basement club have been inundated with offers to replace Billy Davies since his three-year stint ended yesterday. One was from the former Italian World Cup goalkeeper, Walter Zenga, and Nevin says the number of serious contenders is already over the 20 mark.

Christopher Kanu, younger brother of Arsenal's Nwankwo, has joined Alaves on loan from Ajax. The 21-year-old right-back will play for the Basque club for the rest of the season.

Soccer Australia is calling on Fifa not to delay an important World Cup qualifier following pressure from South America. Australia, the Oceania Football Confederation champions, will play the fifth-placed South American nation for a place in the 2002 World Cup finals. The existing deadline is 25 November, with Australia scheduled to host a South American team on 18 November in the first leg of a home-and-away series.

However, it has been reported that Uruguay, their likely challengers, have called for the game to be delayed.