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Magpies offer Best in Long bid

NEWCASTLE are looking to tempt Reading with a player exchange plus cash for Ireland striker Shane Long.

The Royals insisted earlier in the week that they wanted a minimum of £10m for the 24-year-old striker who scored 25 goals in the Championship last season. Newcastle will offer 24-year-old Ireland striker Leon Best in exchange plus £6m.

The former Coventry striker is proven at Championship level and Reading could see him as the man to get the goals needed for promotion.

West Brom have joined the chase for the former Tipp minor hurler but the £10m asking price could be too rich for the Baggies.

Everton are also interested, but may also be priced out of a deal, and Sunderland look likely to fight it out with local rivals Newcastle.

O'Shea gets warning over Black Cats move

Kenny Cunningham believes his former Ireland team-mate John O'Shea would find it difficult to adjust to a move from Manchester United to Sunderland.

"I think when you have played at that level for a club like Manchester United, it is very difficult to step away," he said.

"It's easy for people to say 'why don't you go there, you can play 40 or 50 games there', but Manchester United is a pretty unique place and he'd be going into a totally different environment."

Andorra-Ireland set for Barcelona

THE Andorran FA have applied to UEFA in an attempt to stage Ireland's key Euro 2012 qualifier in Barcelona.

The October 7 clash is the second last match in the race for qualification from Group B and the FAI contacted the AFA in an attempt to accommodate the expected large band of Irish travelling fans.

Ireland played Andorra in the Catalan capital in 2001 during the qualifying campaign for the 2002 World Cup, winning 3-0.

Magilton joins Rovers as assistant manager

MICHAEL O'NEILL has appointed his former Northern Ireland team-mate Jim Magilton as Shamrock Rovers assistant manager.

The former Ipswich and QPR manager is a short-term appointment to see the Hoops through their Champions League ties while O'Neill considers other candidates for the job.

"I thought Jim's other commitments in Northern Ireland and the UK would prevent him helping me," O'Neill said. "He brings not only a wealth of knowledge and experience of the game at the highest level, but he is someone I trust implicitly, and that was a key factor."

Irish Independent