Transfer Talk: FA Cup hero Beckford serves notice to club

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The Independent Online

Leeds United striker Jermaine Beckford has handed the League One club a transfer request, his agent said last night. The 26-year-old, who scored his 20th goal of the season in the 1-0 FA Cup victory at Manchester United on Sunday, has been linked with moves to Newcastle and various Premier League clubs. Beckford is out of contract this summer after moving to Elland Road from non-League Wealdstone in 2006.

Liverpool reject Blues' bid for striker Babel

Birmingham City last night had a £9m move for the Liverpool striker Ryan Babel rejected. The Netherlands international has struggled for a first-time place this season and his agent believes a move away from Anfield may be the answer. "We have to think about the next chapter in his career," Winnie Haatrecht said. "We will look to the team, the perspectives of the club and Ryan, as well as meeting the manager."

Mokoena opts to remain at Portsmouth

Wolverhampton Wanderers have failed in a move for Portsmouth's midfielder Aaron Mokoena. Manager Mick McCarthy tried to sign the 29-year-old last summer after he left Blackburn, although the South Coast club secured Mokoena's services on a three-year-deal. And despite the financial problems at Fratton Park, the South African international has ruled out a move. "I've made it clear I'm not going anywhere," he said. "I can't risk my chances by moving where I might not be guaranteed playing regularly."

Long shots

Former Manchester United and Chelsea midfielder Juan Sebastian Veron is reluctant to join Manchester City and reunite with Roberto Mancini, whom he worked under at Lazio.

Ally McCoist has tried to reassure Rangers supporters that the club wants Kris Boyd to remain at Ibrox, amid links with Birmingham and the former Gers manager Alex McLeish. The Cardiff City chairman, Peter Ridsdale, says 17-year-old Adam Matthews is a target for Manchester United and Arsenal.

Portsmouth's £7m forward John Utaka, who has struggled for consistent form since arriving in July 2007, has held talks with French side Sochaux. Swedish international Fredrik Stoor hopes Fulham do not price him too highly as he aims to leave the club. The Portsmouth manager Avram Grant is considering bringing David Nugent back from his loan spell at Burnley.

Sarah Cobb and Adam Hulme

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