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Football: Wolves banking on mutual benefits if Ferguson departs.

Darren Ferguson has been given Wolverhampton Wanderers' blessing to pursue a career in Holland, for his own benefit and that of the club.

Ferguson is training with Sparta Rotterdam with a view to joining the Dutch first division club, and Wolves will happily sanction the proposed transfer.

No fee has yet been discussed but the Molineux club might even be persuaded to agree a free transfer for the midfielder who cost them pounds 350,000 from Manchester United five years ago.

If he is removed from the payroll, manager Colin Lee would have the scope to strengthen his squad with a loan player to boost Wolves' play-off ambitions.

"If Darren wants to go, I won't stand in his way," Lee said. "He is out of contract at the end of the season and I have said I will do everything I can to make something happen for him.

"He needs to get his career going again, and if he goes out it will enable me to bring someone in to fill his spot. The money isn't available to buy any more players this season, but the club have told me I can take players on loan."

Two Irish strikers are also heading out of Molineux. Glenn Crowe is joining Plymouth Argyle on a free transfer while Dominic Foley is thinking over a loan move to Lincoln City.

Lee, meanwhile, is delighted the Football Association will fly Lee Naylor back from the World Under-18 championship in Spain in March to enable him to play in two matches for Wolves.

Lee is in the England squad for the tournament but will be available for Wolves' games against Bury (March 2) and Bristol City (March 13), although he will miss the home fixture against Crewe Alexandra on Tuesday March 9.

Wolves are hoping the Republic of Ireland will take similar measures over striker Robbie Keane, who stands to miss six First Division matches for the Under-20 World Cup in Nigeria in April.

Carl Robinson's international selection, thankfully, will cause no disruption. Wolves have no match when the midfielder represents Wales B against Northern Ireland at Wrexham on February 9.

Leading scorer Andy Rammell should be back in the Walsall side to face Wigan Athletic in Saturday. The Saddlers' 15-goal marksman, available again after a one-match suspension, has an ankle injury but is expected to be fit by the weekend.
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Publication:The Birmingham Post (England)
Date:Jan 27, 1999
Words:396
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