Jones may leave Dons

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The Independent Online
Vinnie Jones, whose uncompromising style has epitomised Wimbledon for so long, has had his request for a move granted.

"I have had some great times with Wimbledon, they are part of my blood. But as with all things, times change," Jones said. "You only get a short career in football and I now know in my heart that it's the best thing for me and my family to move on.

Jones, once described as "being like a son" by the Dons' owner, Sam Hammam, decided to leave after several weeks of discussion and speculation. His departure comes little more than a month after the 10th dismissal of his career in the 4-1 defeat at Nottingham Forest.

Stories of a rift surfaced the week before that game withJones' absence from the home defeat against Southampton.

The Watford-born Jones, who cost pounds 10,000 from non-League Wealdstone in November 1986, helped Wimbledon beat Liverpool in the 1988 FA Cup final. He has also played for Leeds, Sheffield United and Chelsea.

As Jones began his search for a new home, Wimbledon learned that plans for a Dublin base would be scuppered by relegation to the Endsleigh League, who would not allowed them to play Football League matches across the Irish Sea - or in Cardiff.

Roy Keane is in contention for a place in Manchester United's midfield for Sunday's Premiership match at Liverpool after coming through a surprise outing with the reserves last night. The 24-year-old, ruled out of the Republic of Ireland's play-off against the Netherlands on Wednesday after undergoing hernia surgery, played half of a Pontins League game against Oldham.

Blackburn yesterday completed the pounds 2.8m signing of Chris Coleman from Crystal Palace. The 25-year-old defender is in the squad for tomorrow's home game with Middlesbrough.

Palace are thought to be lining up Jason Cundy, the Tottenham reserve centreback, to join them on loan as a replacement.

Bolton have dismissed reports that they have made a pounds 1.5m bid for Aberdeen's Eoin Jess, but remain in the hunt for Sheffield United's Nathan Blake. "We deny that there has been a pounds 1.5m bid for Jess and the situation regarding Blake is on-going," the Bolton manager, Roy McFarland, said.

Jess, 25 yesterday, is set to stay at Aberdeen despite speculation also linking him with Everton, Liverpool, and Newcastle.

Bolton have tabled an offer believed to be pounds 750,000 for Blake, who is United's top scorer with 11 goals, but the move appears to have gone cold following the arrival of the new manager, Howard Kendall.

Steve Hodge, the 33-year-old former England midfielder, has joined Watford on a free transfer from Queen's Park Rangers.

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