Robson sets sights on bid for Larsson

Newcastle United manager Sir Bobby Robson has confirmed that he would be interested in Celtic's prolific Swedish striker Henrik Larsson.

"Celtic are in Europe like we are - we could meet them in the Uefa Cup - so we can forget about Larsson until the summer," Robson said at the weekend. "But he's a player we'll consider setting our sights on when we finally know he is moving on from Celtic and is on the open market."

Robson is convinced that a partnership between Larsson, who will be out of contract at the end of the season, and Newcastle captain Alan Shearer would be a fruitful one.

"Strikers, if they have a football brain, can build a telepathy with each other," said the manager.

Larsson, 32, has quit international football but remains a potent force at club level.

Kevin Keegan has admitted Manchester City are "nowhere near" doing a deal with Portsmouth for out-of-favour midfielder Eyal Berkovic.

Berkovic's former manager at West Ham, Harry Redknapp, inquired about the 32-year-old Israeli late last week but has so far failed to follow up his initial interest with a firm bid.

Keegan has already indicated his willingness to let Berkovic leave and did not even name the £750,000-rated player on the bench for Saturday's FA Cup draw with Leicester.

"The ball is in Portsmouth's court," he said. "They know what the situation is but at this moment in time we are nowhere doing a deal."

Keegan has already pledged to bring in a new goalkeeper this month as back-up for David Seaman.

However, he remains on the lookout for any potential recruit that is "interesting, attractive and affordable" and is due to meet the City chairman, John Wardle, later this week to discuss how much a club already £50m in debt can afford to spend.

"We definitely need a goalkeeper," said Keegan. "It will be a year before Nicky Weaver comes back from his cartilage operation and I want more experience on my bench in the second half of the season.

"Apart from the goalkeeping situation I don't think we are a club that needs to say we have to bring anyone else in but if something came up that was interesting, attractive and affordable I am pretty sure my chairman would support that."

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