United to pay for poaching

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The Independent Online
Manchester United may have to pay Oldham over pounds 500,000 if the schoolboy David Brown makes the grade. A Football League commission has decreed that United must pay Oldham pounds 75,000 after a decision that they had broken rules when they signed the player, in effect poaching him from Oldham.

United must pay a further pounds 25,000 if Brown makes five first-team appearances followed by pounds 100,000 after 25 appearances. Another pounds 25,000 will be due if Brown is capped at England Under-21 level and pounds 100,000 if he plays a full international.

The arrival of a third Brazilian, Beto, at Middlesbrough, who face Sheffield Wednesday in the Premiership today, is looking far from certain. Bryan Robson was said to be in the advanced stages of landing the Botafogo striker, but the club's coach, John Pickering, said: "Beto has been mentioned but not as an immediate target. I'm not saying he will not come, but I'd be surprised if he did."

Gerry Francis, the Tottenham manager, has admitted Darren Anderton's chances of playing again this season are growing more remote after Anderton, who hoped to play a full reserve match against West Ham on Tuesday, pulled out after suffering a stomach strain in training.

Aston Villa are to offer a new contract to Paul McGrath, their 36-year- old central defender, who has been with the club seven years and will be entitled to a free transfer. "Paul has earned the right to do what he wants to but he knows and I know that there will be an offer," Brian Little, the Villa manager, said.

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