Newcastle bid £10m to return Cole to Tyneside

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The Independent Football

Newcastle United are making a £10m bid to bring Andy Cole back from Manchester United. The club's chairman Freddy Shepherd was reported to have put in a formal offer for the England striker.

Cole could be tempted by a move to Tyneside, which he left in a then British record deal nine years ago, but only if he finds out that his United days are over. He has just signed a new deal at Old Trafford – but that was before Ruud van Nistelrooy arrived and Sir Alex Ferguson chose to play the Dutchman as a lone striker.

Cole has admitted he wants regular football in the season leading up to the World Cup finals, but he has been a substitute in the opening two Premiership games for United.

Now the ball is in Ferguson's court. The board may want to recoup some of the cash from his summer spending, but the manager will have the final word. Ferguson will be reluctant to lose Cole in his own final season. He may consider selling Cole if he is promised he can use the cash for a new defender. But if Ferguson is not given any financial assurances on that front, then Cole is likely to be retained by the champions.

The Sunderland defender Emerson Thome has been banned for three matches after being sent off in a pre-season friendly in the Netherlands. The £4.5m signing was dismissed for violent conduct in a 4-0 defeat to NAC Breda.

Manchester City are looking at the Nantes striker Alain Touré. The Frenchman trained at Maine Road yesterday and will play in a reserve game.

West Ham are confident of having their new Dr Martens stand ready in time for tomorrow's visit by Leeds. The upper tier of the 15,000-seat stand is due to open tomorrow, but must be issued with a safety certificate by Newham Council, which is expected to issue the certificate at noon today.

The Sunderland striker Danny Dichio has joined West Bromwich Albion on a month's loan. Torquay have borrowed the Crystal Palace defender David Woozley.

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