Kendall seeks bargain buy


Howard Kendall will learn this morning whether his attempt to pluck the former French international Mickael Madar from Spanish football's bargain basement has been successful.

The Everton manager moved for the 29-year-old forward after watching him play for Deportivo La Coruna against Valencia.

The gifted, if temperamental, Madar told Everton he had a clause in his contract which guaranteed him an immediate release and a free transfer, but Deportivo are not so sure and may demand a fee.

"I believe he is keen to join us, but I am awaiting confirmation that he is entitled to a free move," said Kendall.

Terry Venables is among eight candidates short-listed by the South African FA to replace the national coach, Clive Barker, who resigned on Saturday. The former England and current Australia coach's rivals are Jo Bonfrere and Clemens Westerhof of Holland, Victor Bondarenko of Russia and four South African coaches, Jomo Sono, Gordon Igesund, Shakes Mashaba and Trott Moloto.

Venables, whose Socceroos were in action yesterday against Brazil in the Confederations Cup final in Saudi Arabia, was recently linked with the job of Nigerian national coach. Australia narrowly failed to qualify for next summer's World Cup finals, so their international calendar looks thin.

French international goalkeeper Bernard Lama is due to arrive at West Ham today on loan from Paris St-Germain. West Ham manager Harry Redknapp arranged the deal after losing Ludek Miklosko for eight weeks with a knee injury.

"I badly need another goalkeeper," said Redknapp. "Ludo has had an operation and Les Sealey, who is my only cover for Craig Forrest, is 40. Bernard came over to see us last week and I was very impressed.

"He has rejected a new contract at PSG, so they have refused to play him. He is keen to come here and there is no problem over money. I hope to have him available for our next game. He wants to play top-level football to maintain his position as France's first-choice keeper."

Liverpool midfielder Patrik Berger finished only ninth in the voting for the Czech Republic Footballer of the Year. The national side's captain, Jiri Nemec, was named as winner, with Newcastle goalkeeper Pavel Srnicek in 10th place.

Manchester United strengthened their grip on the Premiership title following their 1-0 defeat of Newcastle yesterday. Bookmakers Ladbrokes have Alex Ferguson's men at 2 to 9 (from 1 to 4) to take their fifth championship in six years, while William Hill are offering 1 to 5.