McClaren in chase for £6m Yorke

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The Independent Online

Having had one striker poached from under his nose by Manchester United, Steve McClaren now aims to buy a member of the Old Trafford attack knocked down attacking the pecking order by the £6.9m acquisition of Diego Forlan by Sir Alex Ferguson.

The Middlesbrough manager is hoping to complete the £6m purchase of Dwight Yorke in the next 24 hours, fending off a rival bid from his Sunderland counterpart, Peter Reid.

Yorke has the choice of joining either north-east club and despite Boro's lower position in the Premiership, he is opting for the Riverside, where he will be reacquainted with Ferguson's former assistant, McClaren.

Although Yorke is almost 10 years older than the 22-year-old Uruguayan, his experience and track record make him a decent replacement for Forlan as Middlesbrough struggle to move out of the Premiership bottom three.

United will be grateful of the funds. They still plan to push ahead with a move for West Ham United's Paolo Di Canio. The Italian could even sign today if a £2.7m price is finalised, despite an imminent three-game ban and his ineligibility for the FA Cup tie with Boro on Saturday. If Di Canio signs he could make his debut at Bolton next Tuesday, the last game before he starts his ban for stamping on Jody Morris at Chelsea on Sunday.

Forlan, meanwhile, could miss the 2002 World Cup finals because of a dispute with a leading agent in Uruguay. Forlan's father, a former player, refused to let his son sign with Paco Casal, one of the most influential men in Uruguayan football. Casal is one of only three Fifa-licensed agents in the country and has most of the current Uruguayan squad in his camp. Forlan has been outside the clique because of his stance.

Despite being the second leading scorer in Argentina, Forlan was left out of the national squad, behind Alvaro Recoba and Marcelo Zalayeta. Forlan's exclusion continued even when the Internazionale striker Recoba was banned in Italy over a fake passport and Zalayeta was loaned out to several clubs by Juventus.

Now Forlan's hope is that by signing for United he will break into the Uruguay squad in the next few months. The South American qualifiers open the tournament against the holders, France, on 15 June.

Boro could fall foul of Fifa after Inter Bratislava indicated they were to appeal to football's world governing body over the transfer of Szilard Nemeth. The Slovakians claim they have received no money for the striker, who moved to the Riverside on 1 July last year, after his contract expired. Nemeth was aged 23 at the time and Inter were entitled to compensation under Fifa rules.

Mark Viduka could face a disciplinary hearing after the Football Association called for the video of Sunday's Premiership match between Leeds and Arsenal at Elland Road. Television replays suggested Viduka caught Martin Keown with an elbow in the 30th minute of the 1-1 draw. The FA is likely to refer the incident to its video advisory panel.

The FA's arbitration panel met yesterday to start deliberating Wimbledon's appeal against their rejected move to Milton Keynes. The three-man panel – Arsenal's David Dein, Douglas Craig, of York City, and Douglas Hollander QC – are expected to spend three days considering whether to overturn a Football League ban on the move. An announcement is expected tomorrow.

The League rejected the First Division club's relocation to Buckinghamshire from Selhurst Park, which they share with Crystal Palace, last year. The Wimbledon chairman, Charles Koppel, had informed fans in August that he wanted to take the club to a new 28,000-seat stadium in Milton Keynes in order to secure the London club's long-term future. Protests from supporters quickly followed and the League said it was against the move.

Koppel has shown no enthusiasm for a move back to Wimbledon's former home, Plough Lane, now owned by a supermarket chain, which has has had trouble developing the site. The Milton Keynes project would be part of a wider retail and commercial development.

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