Keegan returns without Asprilla

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The Independent Online
NICK DUXBURY

Kevin Keegan returned to Tyneside from Rome yesterday without a piece of paper bearing Faustino Asprilla's signature, but the Newcastle manager still expects to complete the pounds 6.7m signing of the striker by next week.

Keegan left behind his vice-chairman, Freddie Shepherd, and fellow director Douglas Hall to hold further discussions with Parma over the 26-year-old Colombian, who has agreed a four-year contract. The only sticking point appears to be exactly how Newcastle will pay the club record fee.

The Liverpool striker Stan Collymore has failed in his appeal to overturn a Premier League ruling that he was not entitled to a pounds 425,000 pay-off from his former club Nottingham Forest. The 25-year-old believed he should have got a five per cent share of the record pounds 8.5m transfer fee Liverpool club paid Forest last summer.

Mark Hughes will start a five-match ban on Monday after referee Robbie Hart refused to back down over his sending-off of the Wales striker against Everton 10 days ago.

Lee Chapman, the veteran striker on secondment at Leeds, has also lost his appeal against a sending-off and will begin a three-match ban on Saturday which covers the rest of his loan spell from Ipswich.

Vinnie Jones has agreed personal terms with Birmingham City, who are now waiting for Wimbledon to accept an offer of pounds 300,000, plus pounds 100,000 should they win promotion to the Premiership.

Sheffield United have offered Stoke pounds 300,000 for the defender Lee Sandford. Ronnie Ekelund, the Danish international midfielder, has joined Coventry on loan from Barcelona with a view to a pounds 500,000 transfer.

Ipswich's leading scorer, Alex Mathie, will miss Saturday's FA Cup fourth round home tie against Walsall after suffering a shoulder injury.

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