Boro close to signing £8m Ehiogu

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The Independent Online

The Middlesbrough manager, Bryan Robson, is poised to secure the £8m signing of the Aston Villa central defender Ugo Ehiogu today.

The Middlesbrough manager, Bryan Robson, is poised to secure the £8m signing of the Aston Villa central defender Ugo Ehiogu today.

Robson's offer was accepted by Villa last night and Ehiogu should quickly tie up personal terms, including a salary of around £30,000 per week. Boro claimed Villa had turned down their offer, but behind the scenes they were working to complete the transfer as their rivals to sign Ehiogu were off their guard.

Richard Dunne's £3m move from Everton to Wimbledon has collapsed after the Selhurst Park club's Norwegian backers withdrew. The centre-half had travelled to London to finalise the deal when the Dons' financial men said "no" to their manager, Terry Burton.

The Everton manager, Walter Smith, is setting up a move for the Macclesfield Town right- back George Abbey after watching him at the weekend.

Lee Dixon will retire if he is not offered a new contract by Arsenal at the end of the season. The 36-year-old right-back's deal expires next summer and Dixon wants to end his career at Highbury.

"The club gave me another year last season, but I'm not sure they will this time," he said. "I want to stay and finish my career at Arsenal."

The Sunderland captain, Steve Bould, is to retire at the age of 37. The Stoke-born defender, who ended his long association with Arsenal to join the Wearsiders in the summer of 1999, has had to admit defeat in his battle to recover from a toe injury. "The injury to my toe means that I will be unable to continue to play at the highest level and I have therefore decided to retire while at the peak of my career," he said.

Burnley have completed the signing of the Greek international goalkeeper Nikolaos Michopoulos. The 30-year-old, who impressed on his debut in Saturday's First Division victory at Huddersfield Town, has signed a three-year contract.

The Bristol City defender Gerard Lavin has been fined £1,000 for injuring a fan when he kicked a ball into the crowd in a "fit of pique". The spectator, Mark Stevens, needed to have his arm put in plaster after the ball was blasted at him from 20 feet away at Reading's Madejski Stadium. The court heard that Lavin lost his temper during the Second Division match against Reading on the opening day of the season. Ian Acheson, prosecuting, said the incident was sparked when Reading fans clamoured for a Bristol City player to be sent off after a hard tackle left one of their team needing medical treatment.

The judge also ordered Lavin to pay £300 compensation to his victim and £327 costs.

* The Germany defender Joerg Heinrich will miss the World Cup qualifier against England on 7 October because of a knee injury. The Borussia Dortmund player was injured during Saturday's 4-0 Bundesliga loss to Schalke.

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