Football: Dons close to landing Ainsworth.
The move is unlikely to be rubber-stamped until the middle of next week, but Kinnear revealed that he and Vale boss John Rudge were close to agreeing a fee in the region of pounds 1.5million for the 25-year-old.
Ainsworth was also targeted by George Graham when he was at Leeds and Kinnear has been on the phone every day for the past fortnight talking terms with Port Vale.
The Wimbledon boss said: "We're not far away from an agreement for Ainsworth.
"Vale were asking for more than the pounds 2million I've got to spend, but we're looking like meeting somewhere in between our two evaluations.
"As yet I haven't spoken to the player himself, but I don't see any problem there - I think he would want to come here."
Wimbledon take on Middlesbrough this afternoon, and Kinnear praised the way Boro boss Bryan Robson has handled Paul Gascoigne's alcohol problems.
He said: " The alcohol thing is not a situation I've had to deal with here, but I think Robson has been absolutely superb.
"Gazza is always going to court publicity and I think he now has a manager who understands that and knows how to cope with it. Gazza obviously has a problem, but I hope he can sort it out.
"I think England have missed him. Then again, I don't know whether he can make it back into the national squad even if he recovers from his problems.
"There are a lot of good young midfielders who won't want to give up their places."
Boro are third in the Premiership, but Dons can draw level on points with them if they win.
Kinnear added: "We've got two home games in a row and it's a chance for us to get back into the top five."
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|Publication:||The Mirror (London, England)|
|Date:||Oct 24, 1998|
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