Birmingham and Morrison tie the knot

John Curtis
Wednesday 31 July 2002 00:00
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Clinton Morrison is confident that he can make the step up to the Premiership after finally completing his £4m move to Birmingham City from Crystal Palace yesterday.

The 24-year-old has agreed a four-year deal as Steve Bruce – who also managed Morrison at Crystal Palace – at last signed his main summer priority. The long-running transfer saga was finally concluded after the striker Andy Johnson agreed to move to Palace in part exchange.

Morrison said: "I did my time at Palace, through the good times and the bad times, but I am really relishing the chance to work again with Steve Bruce. He has brought the skills he learnt at Manchester United and under Alex Ferguson to his coaching and he got the best out of me when he was at Palace."

The 21-year-old Johnson has agreed a four-year contract with Palace. He could make his debut in a testimonial for Simon Rodger against Tottenham Hotspur at Selhurst Park tonight.

Wolverhampton Wanderers have opened talks with the veteran Middlesbrough midfielder Paul Ince. The 34-year-old has rejected a new contract at Boro. Wolves are also giving a trial to the French midfielder Frédéric Brando.

Middlesbrough were yesterday continuing their efforts to conclude the signing of the Aston Villa midfielder George Boateng. The 26-year-old is discussing personal terms after the two clubs agreed a fee in the region of £5m.

Steve McClaren, the Boro manager, will decide by the end of the week whether to offer the former Manchester United and Sweden winger Jesper Blomqvist a contract.

Villa, who yesterday announced a pre-tax loss of £400,000 for the financial year ending 31 May 2002, are to resume negotiations with their England striker Darius Vassell over a new contract.

Robbie Keane and Eirik Bakke were on target for Leeds United yesterday as they beat a Bangkok XI 2-1 in the Thai capital to round off their tour of Australia and the Far East. Keane has reiterated his desire to fight for his place at Elland Road after talks with the new manager, Terry Venables.

The Tottenham midfielder Tim Sherwood has been fined two weeks' wages, thought to equate to around £30,000, for publicly criticising the club's recent lack of activity in the transfer market. Meanwhile, China's 21-year-old World Cup striker Qu Bo has begun a trial at Spurs.

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