Keegan suffers new goalkeeping crisis

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The Independent Football

Manchester City are looking for a new goalkeeper after their recent signing, the Belgium international Geert de Vlieger, was ruled out for the entire 2004-05 season. De Vlieger ruptured his Achilles tendon during Friday night's 3-1 win over Wolverhampton Wanderers at Molineux, just 20 minutes into only his third game for the club since his arrival from Willem II.

Manchester City are looking for a new goalkeeper after their recent signing, the Belgium international Geert de Vlieger, was ruled out for the entire 2004-05 season. De Vlieger ruptured his Achilles tendon during Friday night's 3-1 win over Wolverhampton Wanderers at Molineux, just 20 minutes into only his third game for the club since his arrival from Willem II.

It leaves City's manager, Kevin Keegan, lacking experienced cover for the England international David James, with only the Danish pair Kevin-Sturh Ellegaard and Kasper Schmeichel as back-up. Ellegaard deputised for De Vlieger on Friday and the 21-year-old, signed for £750,000 by Keegan from Danish club side Farum Boldklub three years ago, impressed in seven first-team appearances last season.

However, with City's first Premiership game against Fulham just a fortnight away, Keegan will be looking for more funds from his chairman, John Wardle, to reinforce his squad.

"I will have to get another goalkeeper in," he said. "Geert has snapped his Achilles, so he is out for the season. I can't take a risk with that position, so I will be talking to the chairman.

"If there is no money, there is no money, but if we don't get someone in it would be a major risk as we would then be hoping nothing would happen to David James."

Keegan's goalkeeping options have been restricted by Nicky Weaver's long-running battle to overcome a knee injury. The former England Under-21 is currently in rehabilitation after another operation to try to solve the problem and is months away from a comeback.

Faced with a similar problem following David Seaman's injury last season, Keegan brought in Icelandic international Arni Arason but, after being released this summer, he has now signed a three-year deal with Norwegian club Valerenga.

To add to Keegan's worries on a disappointing night in the Black Country, French defender David Sommeil will also miss the start of the season after being carried off with a calf injury.

"It could be four to five weeks," Keegan said.

Meanwhile, Boudewijn Zenden has joined Middlesbrough on a free transfer from Chelsea. The 27-year-old spent last season on loan at the Riverside and becomes manager Steve McClaren's fifth signing of the summer.

Zenden, who has signed a one-year deal with Boro, was given permission to travel to Germany for a pre-season tour with his new club. "He has signed all the paperwork," his father and agent Pierre Zenden said.

"It is open to be extended. He could do it after just two months if that is what is agreed."

The Holland international joins his Dutch team-mates Michael Reiziger and Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink at Boro. Ray Parlour and Mark Viduka have also signed for Boro this summer. Zenden was brought to Stamford Bridge in a £7.5m deal from Barcelona in 2001.

Juventus have signed the Brazilian midfielder Emerson Farreira from their Serie A rivals Roma for €28m ($33.7m), the Turin club said in a statement yesterday.

The 28-year-old Emerson, who has agreed a four-year contract, joins up with his old coach from Roma, Fabio Capello, at the Delle Alpi stadium. The former Bayer Leverkusen player has won 55 international caps. The Juventus midfielder Matteo Brighi, 23, moves to Roma for €16m (£10.5m) as part of the deal.

Preston North End have signed the French central defender Youl Mawene on a two-year deal. The 25-year-old was player of the year at Derby County last season but turned down a new contract at Pride Park and moves to Deepdale on a free transfer.

Mawene had spent time with Stoke City and Leicester City over the summer and more recently had been on trial with Wolves, but admits the decision to join North End was easy.

"It has been very quick, but I am very happy to be here. For me it's a big move, but I hope everything will be all right for me here," he said.

"I was training with Wolves and they were very keen to sign me there, but as soon as I came up here I had a chat with the manager, with the chairman and the people here and I felt that there is a strong desire here. It was an easy choice for me to join.

"Preston is a very good team with a lot of very good players and I look forward to training with them and being part of the team."

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