Mettomo talks to Middlesbrough

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The Independent Football

The Middlesbrough manager, Bryan Robson, has stepped in for St Etienne's African centre-half Lucien Mettomo. The Cameroon international arrives at the Riverside Stadium today and could seal a transfer to the Premiership just days after the collapse of a move to Blackburn Rovers.

The Middlesbrough manager, Bryan Robson, has stepped in for St Etienne's African centre-half Lucien Mettomo. The Cameroon international arrives at the Riverside Stadium today and could seal a transfer to the Premiership just days after the collapse of a move to Blackburn Rovers.

Mettomo is furious at Blackburn claims that he has an old knee injury. He insists he is fit, a case backed by St Etienne and the French Football Association doctors.

Now Middlesbrough could take advantage and buy the defender, who is rated at £5m. Robson is aiming to improve his back line and is also pursuing the Aston Villa defender Ugo Ehiogu.

Robson's Newcastle United counterpart, Bobby Robson, is ready to move for the out-of-favour Blackburn defender Christian Dailly in a £3m deal. Newcastle had a £2m offer for the Scotland international rejected by Blackburn two weeks ago. Rovers have said they want £3.5m for Dailly but may settle for a compromise figure.

The Frenchman Alain Goma has a broken nose and Robson is painfully short of defensive options. Dailly has seen a proposed move to Celtic break down and would accept the Newcastle transfer as the Blackburn manager, Graeme Souness, has made it clear he is out of Rovers' plans.

* The top-flight teams went on a goalscoring spree in the first round of the AXA Women's Premier League Cup yesterday. Charlton chalked up a 14-0 demolition of Newcastle Town while Southampton were on the receiving end of Arsenal's 7-0 hammering, Angela Banks scoring a hat-trick.

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