Manchester United are chasing the Greek international right-back Christos Patsatzoglou. Sir Alex Ferguson sent his older brother Martin, his chief European scout, to watch the 23-year-old in action for Olympiakos against Aris Salonika in their last domestic game of the season yesterday.
Patsatzoglou is available for around £3.5m and is considered one of the best defenders in his position in Europe as Ferguson looks for replacements in his back-four.
Patsatzoglou would be a younger version of Denis Irwin, whose imminent departure has left that position exposed in the United rearguard. He has Champions' League and World Cup experience, playing against England last year, when he set up a goal.
Patsatzoglou can attack strongly as well as defend, all-round qualities he has had in his game from his time as a midfield player when he started his career.
United have studied tapes of Patsatzoglou but they wanted to see him in action even if the Olympiakos game was a rather odd affair – the match was played behind closed doors because of the threat of crowd trouble. Olympiakos won 5-1 to secure the Greek title for the sixth consecutive time.
Middlesbrough have pulled out of their bid to sign Benito Carbone on a permanent basis. The club has been in talks with the 30-year-old striker for several weeks after his successful loan spell at the Riverside Stadium.
The new Coventry City manager Gary McAllister has confirmed Eric Black as his assistant at Highfield Road.
Black has previously managed Scotland's Under-21 side and recently left Motherwell before they were placed into administration. He will take up his post on 13 May, the same day McAllister takes up his position, having replaced Roland Nilsson.
The director Jeremy Peace is set to become West Bromwich Albion's caretaker chairman following Paul Thompson's decision to stand down. Thompson does not officially leave the club until 20 May, but he confirmed that manager Gary Megson would now be reporting to Peace.
Thompson is leaving The Hawthorns 10 months early following a much-publicised dispute with Megson. Peace, 44, is the youngest director at Albion, and it is understood that he and Megson have a good relationship.
Hull's new 25,000 all-seat community arena has been named the Kingston Communications Stadium. The city's football and rugby league clubs will play their home games at the £43.5m ground. Other facilities include an indoor sports centre, library and skate park.
The Football Association has organised a visit to Europe by a delegation of officials from Afghanistan as part of their efforts to revive the sport in the war-torn country.
A five-strong delegation led by the Afghanistan Football Federation president Abdul Alim Kolistany met the Fifa president Sepp Blatter and general secretary Michel Zen-Ruffinen in Zurich yesterday before flying into London last night.
The trip follows a team from the FA travelling to Kabul in February to lend their support to the first match played in the capital since the Taliban came to power.
David Davies, the FA executive director, who led the visit to Kabul, said: "Organising this visit to Europe for our friends from the Afghanistan Football Federation is an important step in following up the well-publicised match that took place in Kabul earlier this year.
"Despite having to overcome quite a few difficulties along the way, we want to demonstrate our commitment to assisting them in their quest to bring back some degree of normality to their country, using football as the medium."
There will be two days of talks at Soho Square, and Jane Bateman, the FA's head of international relations, said: "We will be looking at how we can assist the development of the game in Afghanistan primarily through administrative and technical assistance, as well as kit and equipment donations."
The former Aston Villa defender Shaun Teale has left the Nationwide Conference club Southport to take over as player-manager of the UniBond League side Burscough.Reuse content