Keegan steps in for Boro's Reyna

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Manchester City have made a late bid to sign Claudio Reyna, Sunderland's United States midfielder, from under the noses of Fulham, who also lost their French striker Steve Marlet to Marseille on a season-long loan yesterday.

Kevin Keegan, the City manager, is willing to pay around £2m for the 30-year-old Reyna, who has been on the verge of joining Fulham for a fortnight. The move was held up by Reyna's personal terms and wrangling over a pay-off on his Sunderland contract. Fulham had also lined up the former Rangers player as a replacement for Sean Davis, but his move to Everton fell through because of a failed medical.

Keegan cut through all those difficulties yesterday with his surprise bid and Reyna should be unveiled as a City player today. He will have to go through a medical after the knee problems that ruled him out of most of Sunderland's unsuccessful relegation struggle last season but is expected to pass.

Marlet's spell at Fulham, was a disaster, with a return of just 11 League goals from 55 appearances. The 28-year-old French international striker has joined Marseille on loan for a year, two seasons after his £12m move to west London. In return Fulham will receive a loan fee of around £300,000 and a transfer fee of £3m if Marlet signs for Marseille permanently.

Marlet's £35,000-a-week wages are at least off Fulham's payroll, but the Cottagers still have to pay the final instalment on his transfer from Lyon, which is also the subject of a Fifa inquiry.