Arsenal pledge to fight Bergkamp ban

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The Independent Online

Arsenal are to appeal against Dennis Bergkamp's red card in Sunday's FA Cup tie against Liverpool and the Arsenal manager, Arsène Wenger, believes that Liverpool's Jamie Carragher should not receive an extra misconduct charge on top of his dismissal and automatic three-game ban for throwing a coin back at the crowd at Highbury.

However, Arsenal will not be able to carry through with their desire to contest Martin Keown's sending-off as well as there is no right of appeal against a red card for a professional foul. That means the defender will still miss England's friendly against the Netherlands next month as he will be serving a two-match domestic ban at the time.

As for Bergkamp's lunge at Carragher, Wenger insisted that it "seems bad at first sight, but if you really look then maybe he wanted only to impress rather than hurt". The Arsenal manager added: "A lot of people have seen a bad intent and his foot was high, but he didn't hurt anybody.

"I have not seen many players sent off this season without touching anyone. We want an honest opinion and we will accept any decision from the FA." It appears unlikely that Arsenal will win an appeal, given that the referee, Mike Riley, made clear after the game that he had sent Bergkamp off for attempting to stamp on Carragher. The referee said: "The law doesn't differentiate between whether you make contact or not."

Derby County confirmed that talks have taken place with John Gregory over the managerial vacancy at Pride Park. Gregory left Aston Villa after four years in charge last Thursday, blaming a breakdown in his relationship with the chairman, Doug Ellis, for his decision to quit.

The Rams, seeking a successor for Colin Todd, who was sacked two weeks ago, yesterday expressed their interest in the 47-year-old, with an official approach to his agent.

Derby are expected to make a decision today on whether to sign the Atletico Madrid goalkeeper Antonio Jimenez on loan for the remainder of the season. Jimenez had a three-day trial at Pride Park last week and has already agreed to the move.

Everton are to make a move for the Tranmere captain Clint Hill to replace Abel Xavier, who is poised to join Liverpool. Tranmere face losing him for nothing when his contract expires in the summer. Everton are prepared to pay £300,000, but Tranmere want £600,000 although the price is falling as the end of the season nears.

The BBC has changed the time of its live FA Cup tie at Goodison Park to keep the Rev Harry Ross happy. St Lukes' Church stands at one corner of the ground, and with Everton due to kick off against Crewe at 1pm, the congregation would have been leaving church as fans were going in. The match will now kick off at 1.30.

Blackburn Rovers' misfit Corrado Grabbi is on his way back home to Italy to sign for Napoli. Grabbi's miserable spell in England should end in the next 24 hours with a loan move to the Serie B side with a view to a permanent £4m return to his homeland.

The French defender Laurent Charvet has returned to Manchester City after calling off a move to Marseille, who offered him a pay cut. Player and club met for two days, but the deal foundered over personal terms.

The Sunderland newcomer Joachim Bjorklund will have to wait until Saturday – and the visit to Manchester United – to make his debut. Bjorklund's international clearance arrived too late for him to be involved in last night's derby with Middlesbrough. The 30-year-old Sweden international defender passed a medical and agreed personal terms to complete a £1.5m move from the Italian club Venezia, but despite Sunderland's efforts they failed to complete all the formalities.

Mansfield have signed the former Republic of Ireland striker David Kelly on a three-month contract. The 36-year-old left Motherwell by mutual consent two weeks ago.

The Preston manager David Moyes has made his third signing in less than a week after securing the services of the Rangers defender Paul Reid on loan until the end of the season.

Millwall have signed the Ipswich striker Richard Naylor on a month's loan with a view to a permanent transfer.

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