United offer £450,000 to keep hold of Timm

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The Independent Football

Manchester United have handed the Danish striker Mads Timm a new £450,000-a-year contract, even though the 19-year-old is not yet a regular for their reserve side. The new deal was agreed amid fears that the highly-rated teenager would leave the club unless he was given a large pay rise.

Timm has made progress at United since signing from Odense in 2002 but has yet to feature much beyond the youth sides. However a recent set of players being moved out on loan may give him a game in the reserves.

Newcastle United are ready to let the Scotland Under-21 captain, Brian Kerr, go out on loan, with a handful of First Division sides interested in signing the midfielder. Kerr, who played three games for Coventry City last season, has been unable to break into Sir Bobby Robson's side and Wigan, Sheffield United, Stoke and Ipswich watched him in his last game for Newcastle reserves.

Because Kerr's contract is up in the summer he could be leaving St James' Park permanently and would be an attractive signing for a number of Division One clubs.

Meanwhile, Newcastle's Scottish international defender Steve Caldwell, who has joined Leeds on loan in a swap deal involving Michael Bridges, is set to join Sunderland at the end of the season.

Caldwell has already been lined up by the Sunderland manager Mick McCarthy, who can sign him on a free transfer. His move to Leeds helped ease Bridges' loan but will not stop a transfer to Wearside from going through. Newcastle are prepared to let Caldwell - and his brother Gary - leave because of the emergence of talented 17-year-old defender Steve Taylor.

Matthew Upson will make his comeback for Birmingham City tonight in a reserve game against Blackburn Rovers. The defender has only missed a month after damaging his shoulder and could be available for Sunday's game at Manchester City.

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