Robson ready to take £2m gamble on Colchester winger Lua Lua

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The Colchester United winger Lomano Tresor Lua Lua could complete a £2.25m move to Newcastle United today after the two clubs agreed terms.

The Colchester United winger Lomano Tresor Lua Lua could complete a £2.25m move to Newcastle United today after the two clubs agreed terms.

The Zaire-born 19-year-old is expected on Tyneside for a medical and to discuss personal terms within the next 24 hours as Bobby Robson's year-long wait to secure his services look to have come to an end.

Lua Lua, brought to Robson's attention within weeks of his arrival at Colchester by the former Colchester manager Mick Wadsworth, who is now head coach at St James' Park, was withdrawn from the Essex club's line-up for their Worthington Cup tie at Sheffield United last night. He scored a hat-trick in the previous round at Queen's Park Rangers.

"We've been negotiating on this for some time now," Robson said. "I see him as a special talent. He has to learn how to play with the other players but he's a special new talent."

Meanwhile, Robson is taking a look at the 6ft 7in Trinidad and Tobago international Dennis Lawrence after hearing good reports during the club's summer tour to the Caribbean. The 25-year-old central defender has started a two-week trial.

Red Star Belgrade, who are appealing against a decision by Uefa, the game's European governing body, to play the home leg of their Uefa Cup first round tie with Leicester City outside Belgrade, have picked Vienna and Skopje, the capital of Macedonia, as possible alternative venues.

Leicester issued a statement yesterday saying the club had been informed by Uefa that a decision over the venue would be made this morning. Uefa ordered the venue for the game, scheduled for 28 September, to be changed following requests from Leicester. Red Star appealed unsuccessfully against the decision on Friday.

The English club were initially warned by the Foreign Office that elections in Yugoslavia three days before the game could cause civil unrest.

The Spanish full-back Albert Ferrer yesterday claimed that life at Chelsea under the former manager Gianluca Vialli had become "almost unbearable". Ferrer fell out of favour with Vialli, and has not played for the Blues so far this season, but wants to prove himself to the new head coach at Stamford Bridge, Claudio Ranieri.

Ferrer said: "The situation under Vialli was almost unbearable. But now I intend to gain the confidence of the new coach. I know Ranieri from the Spanish League and I have good references. Now I hope to resume playing - if that doesn't happen, then we'll see," he told Spanish radio.

Even so, Ferrer's task will not be easy with the on-loan Italian, Christian Panucci, the current first choice right-back at Stamford Bridge.

The First Division strugglers Sheffield Wednesday are signing the Manchester City winger Terry Cooke on loan. The Owls' manager, Paul Jewell, has moved for the former Manchester United prospect , who is surplus to requirements at Maine Road. If he impresses during his loan spell, the move could be made permanent.

Although Cooke is not available for tonight's Worthington Cup game at Oldham, he will link up with the Wednesday squad tomorrow morning. Jewell is also trying to agree a fee with Barnet for the goalkeeper Lee Harrison.

The Bolton manager, Sam Allardyce, is close to signing the Everton winger Jamie Milligan. The former England youth international is training with Bolton after agreeing a move with Walter Smith.

Liverpool's Patrik Berger and Titi Camara will make their comebacks from injury for Liverpool tomorrow in a reserve match against Bradford City. Robbie Fowler and Vegard Heggem will also play.

One of the men accused of murdering two Leeds fans prior to a Uefa Cup match in Istanbul on 5 April yesterday claimed he had been provoked into his actions because the fans concerned had made obscene gestures with the Turkish flag.

"I couldn't bear seeing them insult our flag," Savas Altay told an Istanbul court in the fourth hearing of the trial of those accused of stabbing Christopher Loftus and Kevin Speight to death.

Meanwhile the Leeds chairman, Peter Ridsdale, yesterday lent his support to a new initiative launched to eradicate racism in the amateur game throughout the country.

"We welcome this charter because racism has no place in society. It is abhorrent," Ridsdale said. "We will never become complacent at Leeds. If supporters are guilty of racism then they will be banned for life."

Blackburn Rovers are finally closing in on a deal to bring the Cameroon defender Lucien Mettomo to Ewood Park.

The Rovers chief executive, John Williams, said: "The basis of an agreement between St-Etienne and us has now been thrashed out."

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