Football in brief

Vodafone could pull out of £36m United deal over Glazer
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The Independent Online

* VODAFONE, one of Manchester United's most important commercial partners, could pull out of its four-year £36m sponsorship deal if the club's takeover by Malcolm Glazer results in prolonged bad publicity for the mobile phone group, writes Damian Reece, City Editor.

* VODAFONE, one of Manchester United's most important commercial partners, could pull out of its four-year £36m sponsorship deal if the club's takeover by Malcolm Glazer results in prolonged bad publicity for the mobile phone group, writes Damian Reece, City Editor.

A spokesman for the Glazer camp said that most sponsorship contracts of this size had "get-out clauses" prompted by a change in trading circumstances, which would include a change of ownership. The possibility that Vodafone has the right to withdraw from the contract could prompt fans to try to pressure the mobile phone group into tearing up the deal.

Vodafone yesterday said it would not comment on the contractual details of its agreements. However, Arun Sarin, the company's chief executive, said that it would have to keep in mind the protection of its brand when considering the future of its relationship with Manchester United.

Le Saux ends sad season by calling time on career

* GRAEME LE SAUX has confirmed his retirement. The 36-year-old left-back, who won 36 caps for England and a Premiership winner's medal with Blackburn, was part of Southampton's relegated side. "I decided at the beginning of the season that this might be my last," he said. "I would rather have retired seeing Southampton stay up, but it was not meant to be. With intensive treatment before every game, my body knows how hard I've tried this season."

Wise ready to resume playing career with QPR

* DENNIS WISE, who resigned as the Millwall player-manager at the end of the League season, is set to join QPR as a player. Their manager IAN HOLLOWAY is keen to acquire the 38-year-old midfielder, who is close to a one-year deal with the club he supported as a boy. Wise left the Lions following a series of disagreements with the club's new chairman, Jeff Burnige, but the former England international wants to prolong his playing career.

Birmingham told by Palace: Johnson 'is not for sale'

* BIRMINGHAM have confirmed enquiring about re-signing the Crystal Palace striker Andrew Johnson, who left the Blues for Selhurst Park three years ago, but said they will now be pursuing other targets after being told the England international, who scored 21 goals for Palace this season, is not for sale.

Everton close in on Davies and start Parker talks

* SIMON DAVIES, the Tottenham midfielder, moved a step closer to joining Everton yesterday after undergoing a medical with the Goodison Park side, who have agreed a £4m fee. Everton have also begun talks with Chelsea's England midfielder Scott Parker to head off interest from other Premiership sides.

Two-year deal for Teale while Walsh takes coaching role

* WIGAN ATHLETIC have offered new deals to four players. Winger GARY TEALE has been offered a two-year contract as has left-back STEVE McMILLAN. Midfielder JASON JARRETT has a three-year offer while goalkeeper GARY WALSH, 37, has a one-year offer and will take on coaching duties.

Burley to decide future at Derby after board vote

* GEORGE BURLEY is to make a decision on his future as DERBY COUNTY manager after receiving a vote of confidence from the club's board in response to newspaper allegations of misconduct. A statement from the club denied suggestions that the club had held an investigation.

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