Keegan yanks coach from US

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The Independent Football

Kevin Keegan, Manchester City's new manager, showed he has lost none of his capacity to surprise yesterday by making an obscure coach from American Major League Soccer one of his first backroom appointments at Maine Road.

The New York-New Jersey MetroStars assistant coach, Juan Carlos Osorio, is leaving to join Keegan's staff at the First Division club. "This is an opportunity I could not pass up," said Osorio, the 39-year-old who also is the MetroStars' conditioning coach.

Fulham's difficulties in attracting players to Craven Cottage in readiness for their Premiership debut continued yesterday when the Monaco midfielder John Arne Riise, the subject of a £4m offer, appeared to encourage Liverpool to enter the chase for his signature.

The Norwegian Under-21 international, who plays left-back or left midfield, is expected in London for talks today with the Fulham manager, Jean Tigana, but was yesterday claiming that the Frenchman's Liverpool counterpart, Gérard Houllier, also wants to sign him.

Tigana has spent several weeks tracking Riise and Fulham had seemed primed for their first major signing since reaching the Premiership. However, the player said: "I know Liverpool are interested and I expect them to match the bid. I want to go somewhere I am likely to play, but money is also important to the deal. If Liverpool come in I would definitely want to talk to them."

Fulham ­ who recently agreed a £7m fee with Anderlecht for the striker Jan Koller only for the giant Czech to turn them down in favour of the German club Borussia Dortmund ­ will be stunned by the development and are hoping that Riise is only attempting to raise his personal terms.

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has signed a two-year extension to his contract with Manchester United. The 28-year-old Norwegian striker is thought to have doubled his pay to around £35,000 a week.

Bolton Wanderers are trying to sign the Bradford City goalkeeper Matt Clarke in a £500,000 permanent deal. Clarke spent the latter part of last season on loan at the Reebok Stadium and helped Wanderers win promotion to the Premiership. Bradford want £1m for Clarke, but Bolton have offered half that sum plus a further £100,000 if they stay up.

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