Houllier signs up French starlets

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The Independent Football

The Liverpool manager, Gérard Houllier, has beaten off top clubs in Europe to sign the French teenage pair Antony Le Tallec and Florent Simana-Pongolet in a £6m deal. The pair will join Liverpool ahead of Manchester United, Fiorentina and Valencia – and the Anfield club are also buying first rights on Le Havre's best young players in the future.

The midfielder Le Tallec and the pacy striker Simana-Pongolet will stay in France for one more season before joining Liverpool once their schooling is over. The pair took England apart in a recent youth international and are rated the best prospects in France.

Ronaldo said he was as fit as ever yesterday after he scored twice in a comeback match for Internazionale.

The Brazilian international, who has been out with a knee injury since March last year, was impressive in the 4-2 friendly win over the French side, Bastia. He reported no problems with the knee injury, which at one point looked to be threatening his career. The former Barcelona and PSV Eindhoven striker could be on the bench for Inter's Uefa Cup tie against Brasov.

"I am very happy, not so much for the two goals that I scored but for my recovery,'' said Ronaldo, 24. ''I don't seem to have any problems. My knee? It's never been as good as it is now."

Didier Deschamps' miserable start as Monaco's coach with continued with a 2-1 friendly defeat at Fulham. The French club have failed to pick up a win in any of their first five league games.

The Jamaican defender Ian Goodison was involved in a road accident before yesterday's World Cup qualifier against Mexico when his motorcycle collided with a car.

Goodison, who plays for Third Division Hull City, was treated in hospital and sent home but is unlikely to be fit for Jamaica's next World Cup game away to Honduras on Wednesday.

ITV's former "Voice of Football" Brian Moore has died aged 69. The commentator, who joined London Weekend Television in 1967, retired after the 1998 World Cup final.