Sporting Digest: Football

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Graeme Souness' Benfica and the Italian side Fiorentina will join Newcastle and hosts Middlesbrough for a pre-season friendly tournament at the Riverside Stadium on 1-2 August.

Reading's manager Tommy Burns has signed defender John Polston from Norwich and midfielder Mark Reilly from Kilmarnock on free transfers.

Swansea City have promoted first team coach Alan Curtis to the role of assistant manager and have advertised for a player-coach. Manager Alan Cork said it would enable him to share the scouting duties with Curtis.

The Huddersfield manager Peter Jackson has signed the 28-year-old goalkeeper Nico Vasen from the Belgian club Eendracht Aalst for pounds 80,000. Newcastle's Stephen Harper spent three months on loan with Town last season but Kenny Dalglish refused to sell the highly-rated 23-year-old.

South Korea's unification ministry are considering a plan to play some 2002 World Cup football matches in North Korea. Japan and South Korea are set to co-host the 2002 World Cup finals