Juve bid for Shearer

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The Independent Online
Juventus have offered Blackburn pounds 12m for Alan Shearer, according to Italian television and newspaper reports. The deal, which might suit both the club and the player, reportedly would involve the Italian international striker Fabrizio Ravanelli going to Ewood Park, plus a substantial cash settlement for Rovers.

Alex Ferguson hopes today to sign the 31-year-old Dutch goalkeeper Raymond van der Gouw on a free transfer from Vitesse Arnhem as Manchester United's No 2. United have offered van der Gouw a three-year deal and he was at Old Trafford yesterday finalising terms.

Birmingham's hopes of signing Jean-Pierre Papin from Bayern Munich may rest on the readiness of businesses in the West Midlands to help the First Division club pay his salary. Trevor Francis, the Birmingham manager, said that Papin was "very interested" in moving to St Andrew's and called for sponsors to help meet wage demands believed to be around pounds 15,000 a week.

Mark McGhee, the Wolves manager, will watch the Czech Republic's pounds 2m- rated goalkeeper, Petr Kouba, at Old Trafford today, having confirmed that he had contacted Sparta Prague about the fee they are seeking.

Paul Stewart, who helped Sunderland clinch the First Division title after joining them on a free transfer from Liverpool, has signed a two-year contract.

Leeds' South African striker Phil Masinga flew to Switzerland yesterday to discuss a transfer to St Gallen after the clubs had agreed a pounds 500,000 fee.