Keane rekindles interest in Saha


ROY KEANE intends to bolster Sunderland's already partially revamped squad with "four or five" further signings and appears to have rekindled his interest in Manchester United's Louis Saha.

With a knee injury forcing Kenwyne Jones to miss the first part of the season, acquiring a new striker remains a priority and Saha remains on Keane's shortlist. The Frenchman's injury record, however, dictates that United must first be persuaded to reduce the €12.6m asking price.

Sunderland's manager also hopes to sign Younes Kaboul and Steed Malbranque today, having given the Spurs duo a deadline of midnight last night to decide whether to complete the move.

"There comes a time when they have to make a decision and that time is fast approaching," said Keane. "I waited five weeks for David Nugent [who eventually signed for Portsmouth] last summer and I'm not waiting five weeks for anyone again. It gets to a point where you want to know. We're very hopeful, though."

Sunderland have agreed to sell their reserve goalkeeper Marton Fulop to Stoke but the Hungary international is struggling to finalise personal terms with Tony Pulis.

"If Marton can't agree things in the next 24 hours then I expect him back at Sunderland for training," said Keane ". . . . We'd welcome Marton back though, he has a chance of becoming a top keeper."

Newcastle United have confirmed Joey Barton will remain on their payroll. The midfielder, who was released from prison on Monday after serving less than half of a six-month sentence for assault, met Kevin Keegan, Newcastle's manager, along with members of the club's board yesterday and will now resume training.

Keegan, who takes his squad, minus Barton, to Mallorca for a pre-season tournament today, is hoping to complete the signing of Fabricio Coloccini, the Deportivo La Coruna defender. Deportivo have rejected €12 million bid for the Argentinian and are demanding around €14 million.

Guardian Service