Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

McCarthy's Men Get Invite to Bid for Stopper

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

McCarthy's Men Get Invite to Bid for Stopper

Article excerpt

best game since I came to the club on Tuesday night and I hope the scouts from the two clubs were here."

Francis, who can operate as a right-back or central defender, is contracted to Bradford until 2006.

It is a far different scenario to that which surrounded Gray, who could have quit Valley Parade on a free transfer this summer, and Robson will have a greater say this time around.

Still, though, Sheffield United are confident that an offer of around pounds 200,000 will prove sufficient.

Francis, who lives in Nottingham, is understood to favour Bramall Lane over the Stadium of Light, but Sunderland are unlikely to give up without a fight as McCarthy bids to bolster his squad for the club's hectic promotion run-in.

Bradford officials have now told the Black Cats they will need to back up their initial approach with an official bid if they are to stand any chance of landing Francis.

And, with his side's qualification for the FA Cup semi-final having boosted the Wearside coffers, McCarthy is currently weighing up a move. …

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