Villa stalling on Schmeichel deal

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The Independent Online

Peter Schmeichel's future at Aston Villa has been plunged into doubt as the club delay on a new deal. The veteran Dane wants to stay for another season, but Villa have yet to open talks on the possibility.

Schmeichel is keen to stay on at the top level and his availability may attract potential bidders while Villa look for a younger replacement. Their manager Graham Taylor has had scouts checking on the Croatian international Stipe Pletikosa, who is also a target for the former Villa manager John Gregory at Derby.

The Football Association has charged the Tottenham defender Mauricio Taricco and the Blackburn Rovers manager Graeme Souness with misconduct.

Taricco's charge follows an incident with Mario Melchiot in the Worthington Cup semi-final victory over Chelsea last month. Souness has been charged for his behaviour towards referee Graham Barber after Blackburn's FA Cup tie with Middlesbrough.

The Bolton defender Colin Hendry is in the middle of a three-club chase for his signature as his manager Sam Allardyce lines up Real Madrid's Ivan Campo. Hendry is wanted by West Bromwich, but Preston and Sheffield Wednesday have joined the queue to take the veteran on loan. Albion are the favourites because they have the FA Cup quarter-finals to offer as an incentive.

The fit-again Scotland captain could be squeezed out by the imminent signing of Campo. The Real Madrid player is due to arrive in the next 48 hours ahead of a possible debut in the relegation derby against Blackburn.

Bradford City are in talks with the Norwegian striker Andre Lindbaek to replace the Barnsley-bound Ashley Ward. Lindbaek flew in from Molde to train with the Bantams yesterday ahead of a £400,000 move. Ward who is finalising the financial details of his move back to Oakwell.

The Derby captain Craig Burley is set to make his comeback for the reserves tonight against Arsenal at Barnet, after being out for three months with knee ligament damage.

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