Redknapp on alert for debut

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The Independent Online


Jamie Redknapp, the Liverpool midfielder, has been tipped to make his senior England debut after David Platt's withdrawal from Wednesday's friendly against Colombia.

Terry Venables had been forewarned about the loss of his captain, who enters hospital today to undergo a cartilage operation. "I knew it was possible that we could lose David. It's a blow but I've made arrangements for it," the England coach said. Platt played for Arsenal on Tuesday despite the knee problems which have caused him pain for some time. He will be out for up to a month.

Riccardo Scimeca, the 20-year-old Aston Villa defender, has been called into the England squad for Saturday's European Under-21 Championship Group Six qualifier against Portugal in Santa Maria de Lamas. Three of the original squad have withdrawn through injury: Newcastle's Steve Watson, Tottenham's Stuart Nethercott and Andy Roberts of Crystal Palace - whose team-mate, Bruce Dyer, has also been called up.

Luton Town have accepted a pounds 600,000 bid from Queen's Park Rangers for their United States international goalkeeper, Jurgen Sommer. The 26-year- old New Yorker is out of contract at Kenilworth Road. Luton will use some of the money, if the transfer goes through, to try to buy Newcastle's third-choice custodian, Mike Hooper, for whom a pounds 200,000 fee has been agreed.

Another international goalkeeper, Bulgaria's hairpiecewearing captain, Borislav Mikhailov, has joined Reading from Botev Plovdiv for a club-record fee of pounds 300,000. He has agreed a two-year contract and the Elm Park club are optimistic of securing a work permit.

Millwall face a nervous wait for the Association investigation into Tuesday's missile-throwing incident in their First Division match at Reading. The home goalkeeper, Simon Shepherd, was nearly hit by an eight-inch spanner that he claimed was thrown on to the pitch by a Millwall fan.

The FA will decide what action to take when the report from the referee Paul Rejer reaches Lancaster Gate, but Detective Sergeant Glen Henham, of Reading police, said: "Video footage just shows an arm in the crowd throwing the spanner, and it will be difficult to trace the person responsible."