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Football news

Fowler not going to US

Robbie Fowler will not move to the United States, his agent said yesterday. Fowler, 31, is out of contract in the summer and New England Revolution coach Steve Nicol says he has spoken to the former England striker about a move.

But Fowler's agent George Scott told reporters: "He has not had a conversation with Steve and I don't think they could afford him anyway.

"If he was to think about moving, Qatar or Dubai could be an option."

Fowler's hopes of extending his Anfield career have been threatened by the arrival of Andriy Voronin from Bayer Leverkusen.

Nicol, who played with Fowler at Liverpool in the early 90s, said: "At the moment the first thing is the financial side. We've spoken, but as of yet there's nothing been settled."

Hearts sign new kit deal

Scottish Premier League club Hearts have agreed a new two-year commercial kit deal with Umbro that will net the club an undisclosed seven-figure sum each year.

As part of the sponsorship arrangement Hearts will be the sole UK distributor of all replica merchandise. The new cash injection will be most welcome, with Hearts planning a costly expansion to Tynecastle Stadium.

At Tuesday's AGM, a motion was passed which allows the Hearts board to extend the current debt of £28.4m to £40m.

Hearts aim to secure a £6m deal which will allow the building programme to go ahead, with nearby Tynecastle High School and nursery being relocated.

Pension can wait says Fergie

Alex Ferguson has signalled his intention to stay on at Old Trafford for at least another two years. The 65-year-old had a change of heart after announcing his retirement five years ago, and has put United in pole position to reclaim the Premiership.

He said: "I decided to give up in 2002 but I regretted it. Changing that idea gave me a fresh start. My pension can wait. There is nothing doing here for a couple of years."

Borriello back on March 21

Milan striker Marco Borriello has been banned for three months by the disciplinary committee of the Italian Football League for failing a drugs test.

The 24-year-old, who tested positive for the corticosteriods prednisone and prednisolone following a 2-1 defeat to Roma in November, will be able to return on March 21 due to the fact he has been suspended since news of his positive drugs test broke on December 21.

Borriello has scored three goals in 12 appearances for Milan this season.

Wenger sorry for cup final fracas

Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger has made a rare apology for his players' part in the mass brawl that marred last Sunday's English League Cup final against Chelsea.

Wenger, known for a reluctance to admit to seeing his players' wrongdoings, or for saying sorry, told his club's website: "Overall, we are sorry for what happened. We should not have reacted at all."

Two Arsenal players, Ivorian defender Kolo Toure and Togo striker Emmanuel Adebayor, and one from Chelsea, Nigerian midfielder Jon Obi Mikel, were sent off after the injury-time fracas. Chelsea won the final 2-1.

"When you do not behave like you want to, then you have to apologise," said Wenger. "We want to focus on playing football well. We want to deal well with the frustrations of the game and we want to be exemplary."

Cosmi... new coach at Brescia?

Serie B side Brescia are set to unveil Serse Cosmi as their new coach following the dismissal of Mario Somma on Tuesday.

Despite harbouring play-off ambitions in pre-season, Brescia are languishing in mid-table and Saturday's goalless draw with Verona proved the last act for Somma.

Gigi Maifredi was the early favourite to replace Somma but club president Gino Corioni yesterday told reporters that he is ready to offer the post to ex-Udinese boss Cosmi.

"I see in Cosmi what I saw in Maifredi, Carlo Mazzone and Mircea Lucescu," Corioni enthused.

"I'm convinced that he is the right man for the job and that he can lead us back to the top."

Slavkovski opts for Inter

Goran Slavkovski has turned down offers from England and Spain to extend his contract with Inter. Manchester United were reportedly keen on the Swedish-born 17-year-old earlier this season.

Slavkovski had little opportunities to play at Inter but has now seen fit to pen a contract extension. The striker has signed a new three-and-a-half year deal.

Slavkovski is to make a decision on whether to play his international football for Sweden or Macedonia soon. Slavkovski is of Macedonian descent but has played for Sweden since the age of 14, and both nations are battling for the youngster's services.

Premiership clubs reduce prices

Everton, Blackburn and Sheffield United joined Chelsea and Bolton to announce they will be reducing or freezing ticket prices next season.

Everton revealed season-ticket prices for 2007-08 that will see a 10% reduction if fans buy early. But even if supporters fail to renew their tickets in the April 1-April 28 window, Goodison Park fans will see prices frozen at the current 2006-07 levels.

Currently the top-rate Everton season ticket is £574, and the lowest a £238 family enclosure ticket, but the latter will now be dropped to £190 a season for youngsters.

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