Rangers rival United for Stam

Manchester United and Rangers are rivals in pursuit of the pounds 5m-rated Dutch defender, Jaap Stam. United scouts and the Rangers assistant manager, Archie Knox, watched the PSV Eindhoven player at the weekend and United have already had an initial offer for the 24-year-old rejected.

Dutch sources said last night that officials from the Premiership leaders were talking with Stam's representatives in London in midweek. Stam is the right age for both United and Rangers, who are looking to replace Gary Pallister and Richard Gough respectively.

Alex Ferguson, the United manager, has attempted to sign Barcelona's Miguel Angel Nadal and Real Betis's Roberto Rios without success.

Blackburn are likely to parade their new signing, the Danish international striker Per Pedersen, in the game at Liverpool tomorrow. Rovers agreed a fee of pounds 2.5m for the 28-year-old from Odense, and the player has now settled personal terms.

Yesterday, Blackburn turned down a request from their former manager Ray Harford, who is now in charge at West Bromwich, to take the winger Stuart Ripley on loan, because the player is not fully fit.

Teddy Sheringham is expected to return to the Tottenham side for Monday's game at West Ham. The England striker scored both goals in the reserve team's 2-0 win over Brentford on Wednesday.

Stockport's postponed Coca-Cola Cup semi-final first leg tie against Middlesbrough has been re-arranged for next Wednesday at Edgeley Park. Middlesbrough's Premiership fixture against Manchester United, due to take place at Old Trafford the same night, has been postponed, as has Stockport's Auto Windscreens Shield northern semi-final against Crewe, due to be played next Tuesday. Middlesbrough will be without Juninho, who is required by Brazil.