Sporting Digest: Football

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The Independent Online
Mark Crossley, the Nottingham Forest and Welsh international goalkeeper, is set to play in tonight's night's reserve game against Aston Villa after seven months out with a back injury sustained during a pre-season game in Finland. Meanwhile, Juha Reini's hopes of a move to Forest have been dashed. The 22-year-old Finnish international, who has been on trial for 10 days, dislocated a kneecap in training and is now set to return home.

Neville Southall, the former Welsh goalkeeper who was loaned by Everton to Southend for a month in December, has had his stay at the Second Division club extended by a further month.

World Cup qualifiers, Jamaica, are talking to the Republic of Ireland about playing a friendly in London on 22 March as they prepare for France..

Italy's players and coaching unions gave their full support yesterday to a bid by the Deputy Prime Minister, Walter Veltroni, to limit the number of foreigners in Serie A. Veltroni wants EU and non-EU players to be treated in the same way - and for there to be a maximum of five on the pitch at any one time, although clubs would be free to sign as many foreign players as they wish.

Renzo Ulivieri, the Bolonga coach, has resigned from the Italian Serie A side after a row with one of his leading players, Roberto Baggio. Ulivieri, who faced criticism for dropping Baggio for Sunday's game against Juventus, handed his resignation to club president, Giuseppe Gazzoni Frascara, before attending training yesterday. The controversy between Baggio and Ulivieri erupted on Saturday night, when the coach told the former World Cup player he would be on the substitutes' bench for the match against his old club, which Juventus won 3-1. Baggio refused and walked out.

Richard Jobson, the Leeds defender, is wanted by Second Division strugglers Southend United. Jobson has been told he can go by his manager, George Graham, and has been approached by Alvin Martin's side.

The Huddersfield manager, Peter Jackson, is ready to sign centre-half Emerson Augusto Tome from Benfica for pounds 250,000. The 25-year-old defender has been told he can go by Graeme Souness and flew in for talks last night. Huddersfield are also set to sign former Everton defender, Alex Smith, from Swindon.