Keegan's final offer for Batty

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The Independent Online
Kevin Keegan has made Blackburn Rovers a final pounds 3.75m offer for their England midfield player David Batty. The Newcastle United manager is keen to continue his title push by adding a combative operator like Batty to his squad and after a month of haggling he is seeking an answer from Rovers.

The latest and undeniably last bid is as far as Keegan will go for a player who cost pounds 1m less when he joined Blackburn from Leeds over two seasons ago. Blackburn were discussing the issue last night with the club's owner, Jack Walker, who has been reluctant to let Batty go.

Tommy Johnson is in danger of missing both of Villa's Wembley bids after suffering a thigh strain in Saturday's fifth round FA Cup victory at Ipswich.

The 25-year-old striker is already ruled out of Wednesday's second leg Coca-Cola League Cup semi-final against Arsenal at Villa Park. And he could also miss the FA Cup quarter-final away to Nottingham Forest or Tottenham in three weeks time.

Bolton are having talks with the German international left-back Uli Borowka. The Werder Bremen veteran was recently on trial at Leeds but they sent him back because they would not pay a pounds 100,000 loan fee.

Martin O'Neill, the Leicester manager, expects to sign the 29-year-old Birmingham striker Steve Claridge for pounds 1.2m before tomorrow's match at Wolves and Barnsley are set to sign Southend striker Dave Regis in a pounds 150,000 deal today.

Defender Micky Adams has been named as player-manager of Third Division Fulham in a move which has seen Ian Branfoot moved upstairs. Branfoot, who has been team boss at Craven Cottage since June 1994, agreed to take up the role of general manager, leaving Adams to step up from player-coach.

Adams, 34, has been in charge of team affairs for Fulham's last two games and has been given the task of arresting a slide which has seen the club slump to second bottom in the table.

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