Wenger comes to Wright's defence

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The Independent Online
Arsene Wenger yesterday defended Ian Wright and dismissed any possibility of club action against the striker, who was accused by Steve Ogrizovic of deliberately breaking his nose in the final minute of Saturday's goalless draw with Coventry.

The Sky Blues decided not to take the matter further, although Ogrizovic urged Arsenal to take action against their 10-goal top scorer. Wenger ruled out any chance he might leave Wright out of today's Coca-Cola Cup match at Stoke.

"Ian has been wrongly accused and I am amazed that people react so quickly to do so," Wenger said. "At the time of the incident on Saturday I could not see clearly what happened but I have now looked at the film and told Ian there was nothing wrong with his actions. In fact, I thought it should have been a penalty for Arsenal as the goalkeeper twice grabbed Ian's legs."

Joe Royle is interested in taking Norwich's England Under-21 midfielder Darren Eadie to Everton. He could offer Norwich Anders Limpar and Vinny Samways in exchange for Eadie. Royle, who has pounds 10m to spend, has also put feelers out for QPR's Trevor Sinclair and the Karlsruhe striker Sean Dundee.

Several other managers have shown an interest in Sinclair, but, for the moment at least, he is not leaving Shepherds Bush. At a press conference yesterday to announce the flotation of Loftus Road plc, QPR's chairman, Chris Wright, acknowledged that Sinclair had requested a transfer but said: "In a nutshell, we want him to stay." He added that, "QPR intend to be nett buyers of players not sellers".

Blackburn Rovers' chairman, Robert Coar, has dismissed speculation that his club is trying to sign the Brazilian international striker Bebeto. "It's just the latest name to be floated across us and that's all it is," Coar said.

The former Portsmouth manager John Gregory is the new manager of the Nationwide Second Division club Wycombe, who sacked Alan Smith a month ago. Gregory, 42, who was the first-team coach at Aston Villa, takes over a side who have won only two games all season and are one place off the bottom of the division.

Nottingham Forest yesterday signed a multi-million pound, eight-year sponsorship deal with Umbro Sports.

Don Robinson, the former Hull City chairman, has put in a pounds 1.5m bid to take over the Third Division club. Robinson resigned as chairman in 1989, having saved the club in May 1982 after they had fallen into the hands of the receivers.

The leisure company Conrad is poised to complete the pounds 10m takeover of Sheffield United.

The former England midfielder Geoff Thomas, out of action for 13 months because of knee injuries, played 90 minutes for the reserves in their 2-0 defeat against Preston last night.

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