Coventry hearing next week

El-Hadji Ba has welcomed reported interest from Sunderland,

Wigan and Newcastle and says he would love to play in the Premier


Prior to making his debut with Le Havre in February last year,

the France U20 international was linked with a move to


The defensive midfielder is now understood to be attracting

interest from numerous clubs, and is regarded by some as the best

prospect to come out of the Le Havre academy since Paul Pogba.

Pogba, who moved to Juventus from Manchester United and recently

received a call up to the France squad, has provided inspiration to

Ba as he looks to take his own career to the next level.

“He is definitely the one for me to follow in his footsteps at

the moment,” Ba said.

“Pogba is doing very well and I am happy for him to be playing

for one of the top teams in the world in Juventus.

“I want to improve, and it is very good to hear that clubs have

been scouting me.

“I would love to play in England one day. If teams have a good

enough offer, then they (Le Havre) will let me go.”

Sheffield United striker Jamie Murphy has been ruled out of

Saturday’s home game through injury.

Murphy was forced out of last week’s heavy defeat at Stevenage

and is struggling with back and hamstring problems.

Teenager Callum McFadzean replaced Murphy and could be in line

for his first league start for the Blades, but on-loan pair

Jonathan Forte and Dominic Poleon provide manager Danny Wilson with

further options.

Wilson has no other new injury or suspension worries, but could

be tempted to make one or two changes.

Defender Danny Higginbotham and forward Chris Porter, back from

his loan spell at Shrewsbury, are pushing for recalls.

Teenage striker Diego De Girolamo and defender Lecsinel

Jean-Francois have both had surgery to repair cruciate ligament

damage and will miss the rest of the season.

The Blades are hoping to climb back into an automatic promotion

spot with victory over the second-placed Bees.

Kevin O’Connor and Farid El Alagui are close to returning to the

Brentford squad ahead of the trip to their promotion rivals.

The duo have been sidelined since early in the season but made

their comebacks for the reserves this week.

Club captain and long-serving midfielder O’Connor suffered an

ankle injury in November and striker El Alagui has been out with a

knee injury since October.

But both came through an hour of action on Monday afternoon, so

boss Uwe Rosler must decide whether to take them to Bramall Lane or

give them another reserve run-out first.

Defender Scott Barron (hip) and back-up goalkeeper Richard Lee

(shoulder) have undergone operations and will be out for the rest

of the season.

The Sky Blues are three points off the play-off places with

seven games left and travel to Fratton Park to face a Pompey side

who are eight points adrift of safety, but have lost just one of

their last five games.

And Pressley knows his side will have to be at their best to

keep their top-six hopes alive.

“It is always difficult playing sides who are fighting for their

lives as they have so much to play for,” he told the club’s

official website.

“They will be determined to get the win and we need to be

bringing our best game to Fratton Park this weekend.

“They are similar to Hartlepool in that sense and we saw how

difficult that game was, so we need the same commitment again.

“Every single day here we train to win, and I will be expecting

that mentality to come through on the pitch this weekend.

“We need to be able to keep the momentum up and with us just

three points outside the play-offs, there is everything to play


“I want to create a real winning culture at this football club

and you only achieve that by setting standards and then maintaining


Sir Alex Ferguson has also been fined ?8,500 for non-fulfilment

of media obligations after the same match

European football’s governing body UEFA confirmed the sanctions

on Friday afternoon following a meeting of its control and

disciplinary body.

“Manchester United FC midfield player Nani has been suspended

for one match by UEFA’s Control and Disciplinary Body, following

the red card he received at the UEFA Champions League round of 16

second leg against Real Madrid CF at Old Trafford on 5 March,” a

UEFA statement read.

“Manchester United head coach Sir Alex Ferguson has been fined

?10,000 for non-fulfilment of the post-match media obligations at

the same match.”

Nani would have been banned for one match regardless as a result

of his red card for a tackle on Alvaro Arbeloa during United’s 2-1

defeat which saw them exit the competition.

However, the disciplinary panel decided there were no

exceptional circumstances which warranted an increase.

The fine handed out to Ferguson is effectively a slap on the

wrist after the Scot failed to attend the mandatory post-match

press conference.

His place was taken by assistant Mike Phelan who said Ferguson

was too “distraught” to face the media.

Ferguson was furious about Turkish referee Cuneyt Cakir’s

decision to show a red card which he felt swung the tie in Real’s


More severe penalties could have included a touchline ban but

UEFA did not deem it a serious enough offence to implement


The former Portsmouth midfielder, who brought global attention

to the issue of racism in football after leading his fellow Milan

players off the pitch during a friendly in Italy after being

abused, has been appointed to FIFA’s new anti-discrimination task


Ghana international Boateng said there should be zero tolerance

for racism.

Asked if he would walk off again if abused, he told CNN World

Sport: “I think we should not accept and tolerate it anywhere, in

any game. Even if it’s a World Cup final, if it’s a Champions

League final.

“For me, honestly, I would do it even in the Champions League

final. If I feel it is racial abuse, I would do it even in the

Champions League final.

“Of course it’s a different situation – there’s a lot of money

involved and if my team-mates would follow me, I don’t know because

it’s a totally different situation. But for my part, I would do

exactly the same.”

FIFA president Sepp Blatter said he was delighted that Boateng

has agreed to join the task force and stressed the need for tougher

sanctions for racism.

“I’ve said before, empty stadiums or imposing fines is

inadequate. Sanctions have to be severe – points deductions or

disqualification,” he said on Twitter.

“FIFA needs strong personalities like Kevin-Prince Boateng to

bring experience and credibility. I invited him to be part of

FIFA’s anti-discrimination task force and I’m delighted that he


The 19-year-old midfielder, who signed a three-year deal with

the Eagles in the summer, has made nine appearances for the

Selhurst Park club but has not featured for the first team since


De Silva will not be available for the Bees’ clash against

Cheltenham but could make his debut against Dagenham on Good


Arena Coventry said earlier this month that it was owed more

than ?1.3million and planned to ask a High Court judge to place the

club into administration.

Lawyers representing Arena Coventry appeared at the High Court

in London on Friday to outline the latest state of play.

They said Arena Coventry bosses had been concerned by a

statement made by the club earlier this week – and needed more time

to consider their position.

A judge adjourned the hearing until Tuesday.

In the statement, a Coventry spokesman had said that a

“non-operating subsidiary” of the club had been placed into

administration. He said the “football club itself” was not under

threat and would continue to “trade as normal”.

Eighth-placed Coventry on Saturday travel to bottom-of-the-table

Portsmouth – a club placed into administration more than a year