Kewell facing tendon surgery

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The Independent Online

Leeds United confirmed the news their fans least wanted to hear yesterday when it was announced that Harry Kewell, last season's Professional Footballers' Association Young Player of the Year, will have surgery in the next 24 hours to sort out his Achilles tendon injury.

Leeds United confirmed the news their fans least wanted to hear yesterday when it was announced that Harry Kewell, last season's Professional Footballers' Association Young Player of the Year, will have surgery in the next 24 hours to sort out his Achilles tendon injury.

Leeds had already been resigned to losing arguably their most influential player for the next month as a fully-fit Kewell would have travelled to Sydney to play for Australia in the Olympics. However, the operation will rule the Australian striker out until December at the earliest, during which time he will miss the whole of the opening group stage of Leeds' Champions' League campaign, which begins with a visit to Barcelona on Tuesday. Another Leeds player, the defender Robert Molenaar, has turned down a £1m move to Wimbledon because he was unwilling to drop down a division.

There was good news for Liverpool and England yesterday after it emerged that Robbie Fowler is due to play his first game of the season on Monday. The 25-year-old will figure in a reserve match at Sheffield Wednesday, having returned to full training this week.

Fowler damaged his ankle in a pre-season match against Glentoran in Belfast and, if he comes through Monday's test unscathed, he could come into contention for Liverpool's squad for Thursday's Uefa Cup meeting with Rapid Bucharest.

Graeme Souness, the Blackburn Rovers manager, is set to make a new £5m bid to sign the Cameroon international defender Lucien Mettomo in a deal which, if successful, would be likely to herald more major arrivals and departures at Ewood Park.

Souness made the improved offer to Mettomo's current club, the French side St-Etienne, yesterday, and the player is keen to open talks if the price is agreed. He has already pulled out of the Cameroon Olympic squad to be available to move.

St-Etienne are said to be astonished by the size of Blackburn's offer for their defender, but Souness knows he must go to this level because there is also interest from Italy.

Mettomo's arrival will mean the departure of the Scottish international Christian Dailly, who is being offered to Celtic in exchange for Eyal Berkovic. Dailly is out of Souness's long-term plans and he has been offered to Martin O'Neill in straight exchange for the Israeli midfielder.

Both Berkovic and Dailly are out of favour at their clubs after being bought by previous managers for huge fees. If Souness ties up the Mettomo deal this weekend, Rovers will be keen to trade Dailly and could give Celtic the cash adjustment they want.

Bristol Rovers have agreed a fee of £250,000 with West Bromwich Albion for the striker Mickey Evans after the 27-year-old impressed during a loan spell.

The Celtic manager, Martin O'Neill, has been rewarded for his side's tremendous start to the new season by winning the Bank of Scotland Manager of the Month award for August.

O'Neill held off a strong challenge from the Hibernian manager, Alex McLeish. Ironically the duo bring their sides face to face in a Scottish Premier League game tomorrow. The Edinburgh club lead the Premier League, but O'Neill's side have yet to drop a point and thrashed their Old Firm rivals Rangers 6-2 last month.

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