Sinclair's shock transfer request

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The Independent Football

Trevor Sinclair has asked for a transfer from the Premiership strugglers West Ham. Sinclair, part of the England squad which scraped into the World Cup finals with a last-gasp 2-2 draw with Greece, has been disenchanted with life at Upton Park for some time. The former QPR winger has been linked with Sunderland, although news of his impending departure could alert Newcastle and Leeds.

"After a series of discussions and meetings with Glenn Roeder and the managing director Paul Aldridge in which I have voiced my growing discontent, I have today submitted a written transfer request," he said yesterday. "I have enjoyed my time at West Ham immensely and have established a wonderful relationship with the fans, to whom I am extremely grateful for their support. However, I think a fresh challenge will help my performance level in this incredibly important season."

Michael Owen said yesterday that he will return to full fitness in "days not weeks". The Liverpool and England striker sustained a hamstring injury against Tottenham two weeks ago and was initially expected to be out for at least a month.

However, he has returned to light training, and said yesterday: "It's much better than was first thought. They were saying four, five or six weeks but I should be back sooner than that. Obviously I have done no sprinting yet but I am feeling no problems after jogging." Liverpool visit Dynamo Kiev in the Champions' League on 16 October.

Meanwhile, Sir Alex Ferguson is waiting to check on Wes Brown, Nicky Butt and Ryan Giggs before finalising his plans for Manchester United's Champions' League game against Olympiakos in Greece tomorrow. Roy Keane is set to return to the side after missing the 5-3 victory over Tottenham last weekend through suspension.

Antwerp are in discussions with United about bringing more of their players to Belgium. Antwerp have previously taken United youngsters such as Luke Chadwick and Ronnie Wallwork on loan.

Wrexham have appointed Denis Smith as their new manager, replacing Brian Flynn, who left two weeks ago after a 12-year reign.

The Manchester City manager Kevin Keegan is set to beat Tottenham to the signature of FC Copenhagen's highly-rated Danish goalkeeper Kevin Ellegaard. The under-19 international is currently on loan at FC Sturm in Denmark's Second Division.

The Birmingham chairman, David Gold, cut short his holiday in Sardinia yesterday to hold talks with his under-pressure manager, Trevor Francis.

The Blackburn Rovers manager, Graeme Souness, is set to sign the teenage striker Kevin Townson from Rochdale.

The Bradford winger Jamie Lawrence will be out of action for up to two months after breaking his arm in Jamaica's World Cup qualifying defeat to the United States on Sunday.

Gil Prescott has relinquished his position as manager of Macclesfield to concentrate on his role as director of football. Club coaches Kevin Keene, Norman Bernard and John Askey will take control of training, with the club meeting to appoint a successor later in the week.

The Dundee defender Lee Wilkie has returned to the club after having his loan spell with Notts County cut short.

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