Leeds open Fowler bidding with £6m offer

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Leeds United have started the bidding for Robbie Fowler with a £6m offer – but Liverpool are hoping to make more out of their unsettled captain.

The Leeds manager David O'Leary has expressed an official interest in Fowler and is willing to pay a reduced fee for him as his Anfield contract, which has 18 months left, begins to run down. O'Leary is prepared to haggle and may increase his bid as Fowler's day of reckoning draws near. However, Blackburn are about to join the hunt, with Lazio also waiting in the wings.

The Blackburn manager, Graeme Souness, who is a fan of Fowler, hopes to top Leeds' initial bid if he can sell Corrado Grabbi back to Italy, where Napoli are putting together a £6m offer. Lazio are also on the alert, rating Fowler as a cut-price possibility if they find a buyer for Hernan Crespo during the Italian transfer window. The Roman club have huge debts and need to sell players to balance their books.

The imminent arrival of the Czech Republic striker Milan Baros, due to move to Anfield next month, would give Liverpool a ready-made replacement for their captain.

Souness is also giving Stockport County's Finnish international striker Shefki Kuqi the chance to clinch a £700,000 move. Kuqi started a week's trial at Ewood Park yesterday.

Liverpool are asking the referee Steve Bennett to review the red card shown to Dietmar Hamann for a two-footed tackle against Sunderland on Sunday. Bennett sent off the German midfielder for his lunge at Sunderland's Bernt Haas – a dismissal that means a three-game ban.

The Norwich City manager Nigel Worthington is trying to sign the left back Mark Dawson from Scunthorpe United. Worthington hopes to wrap up a deal this week for the defender, who has formed an impressive flank partnership with the winger Peter Beagrie at Scunthorpe. They will want around £250,000 for him.

The Manchester City striker Paul Dickov is wanted by Sheffield Wednesday as the new Hillsborough manager Terry Yorath starts to rebuild his team. Dickov is out of Kevin Keegan's side and also out of contract at the end of the season, so he will be available at the right price. The Scottish international is recovering from a damaged rib, but is expected to be fit shortly, and could follow the former City coach Willie Donachie to Hillsborough.

Norwich and the Scottish side Kilmarnock are also on the trail of Dickov, who will cost around £300,000.

The Oxford United manager Mark Wright has been fined £1,750 by the Football Association after he made an offensive remark to a black referee during a Third Division match with Scunthorpe on 20 October. Wright's four-match touchline ban, which he is already serving, was also upheld.