Second City approach for Wilkinson

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The Independent Online
Manchester City are to make a second attempt to persuade Howard Wilkinson to take the manager's chair at Maine Road.

The City chairman, Francis Lee, has surrendered the major shareholding to businessman Stephen Boler and his backers, who hope the financial shake- up will convince Wilkinson that the struggling First Division club are now a better proposition than when he first turned them down a fortnight ago.

City are to issue 13.5 million new ordinary shares in a bid to raise around pounds 11m for the club to regain their Premiership status. Lee and key executives, along with legal advisors, spent a 12-hour meeting behind closed doors yesterday thrashing out the details.

If the former Leeds manager takes over from Phil Neal, he would have money to invest in players. If they are rebuffed again City will turn to the former Queen's Park Rangers manager Ray Wilkins or Birmingham City's captain, Steve Bruce.

Tottenham are facing a race against time to put their new signing Steffen Iversen in the team for Saturday's Premiership visit to Coventry. Iversen, a tall, powerful striker, signed a five-year deal on Monday for a fee of around pounds 2.6m from Rosenborg, but the 20-year-old will make a farewell appearance for his Norwegian club in a Champions' League match with Milan at the San Siro tonight before returning to London for a medical tomorrow.

Gerry Francis, the Spurs manager, is desperate for Iversen to replace his injured top scorer Chris Armstrong at Highfield Road, but Spurs still have to rely on the Football Association obtaining international clearance for Iversen from their counterparts in Norway and he must then be registered with the Premier League by noon on Friday to be eligible.

Arsenal have sent the FA a video of their win at Newcastle and confirmed they want the match referee, Graham Barber, to review his decision to send off Tony Adams.

Adams will be suspended for the trip to Nottingham Forest on 21 December unless Barber changes his mind.

Dario Gradi, the longest-serving manager in English football, has agreed a new 10-year contract with the Second Division club Crewe. The deal will see Gradi, who has been manager at Crewe for 13 years and six months, stay at Gresty Road until the year 2007.

The game's international body, Fifa, yesterday brought Albania back into the international fold. Fifa suspended Albania indefinitely after their sports ministry ordered the suspension of the national association's general secretary, Eduard Dervishi, and dissolved its committee.

It was a move which threw their World Cup qualifier with Northern Ireland in Belfast a week on Saturday into doubt, but now the Group Nine tie can now go ahead as scheduled after the Albanian government revoked their original decision.

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