Shipperley joins Palace for pounds 1m

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Crystal Palace last night signed Neil Shipperley from Southampton for pounds 1m. The former England Under- 21 striker, who joined Saints from Chelsea in January 1995 for pounds 1.25m, will make his debut tomorrow against Grimsby - subject to medical clearance.

The fee, initially pounds 900,000 with pounds 100,000 to follow after a certain number of appearances, will allow the Southampton manager, Graeme Souness, to pursue his interest in the Czech striker, Pavel Kuka, who is currently playing in Germany with Kaiserslautern.

Shipperley, 22, recently lost his place to the Norwegian striker Egil Ostenstad and was also being pursued by Portsmouth, but the Palace manager, Dave Bassett, completed the deal at Selhurst Park last night.

John Hartson may earn the opportunity to add to his five Wales caps when Bobby Gould names his squad today for the World Cup Group Seven qualifier against the Netherlands in Eindhoven on 9 November.

Mark Hughes misses the game through suspension, but Gould may resist the option of recalling Ian Rush, Wales' record goalscorer, who has still not opened his account for Leeds United.

Hartson was named in the senior and Under-21 squads for the home qualifier against the Dutch at the beginning of the month and might have made the substitutes' bench for the 3-1 defeat in Cardiff had he not aggravated an ankle injury playing for the Under-21s.

The Scottish Football Association will have the final say on whether the Coca-Cola Cup winners will represent the nation in the Uefa Cup next season. European football's governing body confirmed yesterday that Scotland will again have two representatives in the competition. Traditionally, the League Cup winners and Premier Division runners-up take part. That continues to be a suitable arrangement for Uefa, but the final decision rests with the SFA.

Hearts and Rangers will contest this year's final after the Tynecastle side beat Dundee 3-1 at Easter Road on Wednesday night. Celtic Park will host the final on 24 November.

The Hibernian caretaker-manager, Jocky Scott, has been promised significant funds to spend on players after the Easter Road club announced yesterday that last season's turnover had increased by a third and pre-tax profits were up by almost 30 per cent. For the year up to 31 July, Hibs generated a cash surplus of pounds 420,000, turnover has risen from pounds 2.4m to pounds 3.2m, while pre-tax profits increased from pounds 51,000 to pounds 66,000.

Bayern Munich are dampening speculation linking the former Tottenham striker Jurgen Klinsmann with a return to the Premiership by offering Germany's captain a new contract.

Romario's future is uncertain after the Brazilian striker's former team, Flamengo, called off negotiations for his return from Spain's Valencia. Romario, who is currently in Brazil, left Flamengo and signed for two seasons with Valencia in August. But a few weeks into the season he ran into problems with the Valencia coach, Luis Aragones.

Referee Linda Bailey and assistants Anne Smart and Karen Ford are set to become the first all-women's team of officials in Britain to handle a senior men's game. They will be in charge of the match between Broomfield and Kent University in the Nuclear Electric Kent County League tomorrow.

COCA-COLA CUP Fourth-round draw: Charlton or Liverpool v Stoke or Arsenal; West Ham v Stockport; Ipswich v Gillingham or Coventry; Bolton v Tottenham; Middlesbrough v Newcastle Utd; Wimbledon or Luton v Aston Villa; Port Vale or Oxford v Southampton or Lincoln; Leicester City v Manchester Utd. (Ties to be played on 26 and 27 November)

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