United put sale of Pallister on hold

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MANCHESTER UNITED are not prepared to sell Gary Pallister back to Middlesbrough until after the World Cup.

Bryan Robson, the Boro manager, has made a bid, believed to be worth pounds 2m, for the former England central defender. United are considering the offer, but are in no hurry to let Pallister go. They want to wait and make sure Jaap Stam, who completes his pounds 10.75m move to United from PSV Eindhoven on 1 July, comes through the World Cup for the Netherlands unscathed.

Steve Staunton, the Republic of Ireland defender, has turned down a lucrative new four-year contract with Aston Villa and is to leave the club under the Bosman ruling, with his former club, Liverpool, Tottenham and Blackburn interested in signing him.

Newcastle are close to signing the Greek international midfielder Yorgos Yoryadis from Panathinaikos. The 26-year-old, who has already completed a medical on Tyneside, is set to join another Greek, Nikos Dabizas, at St James' Park.

The French defender Remi Garde, 32, has decided not to retire and has signed a one-year deal with Arsenal, who have given a one-year contract to John Lukic. They have released Scott Marshall and Chris Kiwomya.

The Italian international midfielder Roberto Di Matteo has told Chelsea he wants to stay at Stamford Bridge for the foreseeable future, quashing media reports that he has been looking to return to Italy.

Everton's goalkeeping coach, Mervyn Day, the former West Ham No 1, is in line to replace Les Reed as assistant manager at Charlton Athletic. On Day's recommendation, Everton are paying pounds 40,000 for Stenhousemuir's Scotland Under-21 goalkeeper, Neil Alexander.

The Manchester United winger Ben Thornley has agreed a three-year contract with Huddersfield Town. United want pounds 500,000 for Thornley, who will become a free agent in a year's time. If the clubs fail to agree a fee, the matter will be decided by a tribunal.