Kinnear Prepares Bid for Mautone

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WIMBLEDON manager Joe Kinnear is planning to make a bid for Reading's Australia goalkeeper Steve Mautone.

Kinnear, who has had the 27-year-old former West Ham player watched in every Reading home game this season, will have to offer more than [pounds sterling]1million to sign him.

Reading have already fought off interest from Coventry who were prepared to offer [pounds sterling]1.3m for the Elm Park favourite.

Kinnear wants Mautone to increase the competition for places - at the moment Neil Sullivan is Wimbledon's undisputed first-choice goalkeeper.

Reading manager Terry Bullivant is desperate to keep Mautone as the team is hit by an injury crisis and pinned to the foot of the Division One table.

He said: 'I'm under no pressure to sell players but it's no surprise people have taken notice of what a good goalkeeper Steve Mautone is.' Southampton yesterday moved quickly to fill the void left by Jim Magilton's transfer to Sheffield Wednesday by signing 34-year-old Coventry midfielder Kevin Richardson on a two-year contract.

Southampton manager Dave Jones said: 'We have been chasing Kevin for about two weeks now and with Jim Magilton leaving the club we felt we needed to act quickly.

'We need someone with the experience to be a general in the centre of our midfield and Kevin has that experience. He has won championships and trophies throughout his career. …