Liverpool complete signing of £3.5m Finnan

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The Independent Online

Liverpool have confirmed the signing of the Fulham full-back Steve Finnan for a fee of around £3.5m.

The 27-year-old Republic of Ireland international moved to Fulham from Notts County for £600,000 in 1998 and played more than 200 games for the Cottagers. Finnan started his career with the non-League side Welling and was signed by Birmingham City before moving to Notts County for £300,000 in 1997.

Finnan will join Fulham's former assistant manager, the Frenchman Christian Damiano, at Anfield. Finnan will become Liverpool's first-team coach next season.

Birmingham have stepped up their attempts to sign the Blackburn Rovers midfielder David Dunn. The clubs have begun negotiations over a £5.5m fee and the former England Under-21 captain will speak to the Birmingham manager, Steve Bruce, when he returns from holiday in a fortnight.Birmingham have offered £5.5m, but with £3.5m up front, rather than their previous offer of £3m plus instalments. Blackburn would get a further £1m a year if Birmingham stay up and a sell-on clause if they are relegated and Dunn is sold.

Bruce also wants to exploit the new transfer rule allowing Premiership clubs to take players on loan from other Premiership teams by signing the Arsenal striker Francis Jeffers on loan for a year.

The Blackburn Rovers manager Graeme Souness wants to sign the Stuttgart Kickers goalkeeper David Yelldell for £120,000 as cover for Brad Friedel. Yelldell was raised in Germany but comes from an American background.

Manchester United's hopes of bringing their American goalkeeper Tim Howard to Old Trafford for the start of next season have hit a stumbling block over his work permit. United have agreed a £1.8m fee with New York-New Jersey MetroStars for the 24-year-old, but have discovered that Howard may have to wait several weeks to obtain the Hungarian passport he can qualify for through his mother, which would allow him to work in the European Union.

United's legal team are now preparing a case to apply for a work permit, but as Howard has only won a handful of caps for the United States it will probably be rejected. Howard would then have to rely on an appeal, but United are confident they would win that.

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