Tony Pulis is hoping James Beattie can provide the firepower to keep Stoke City up after finally getting his man. The striker, 30, ended days of speculation by putting pen to paper on a two-and-a-half-year deal to complete his move from the Championship side Sheffield United late on Monday night. Beattie, who could cost as much as £3.5million (Dh18.7m), is Pulis' second January signing following Matthew Etherington's move from West Ham last week and will be charged with improving Stoke's goal-scoring record - which currently reads just 18 in 21 games.
"James is a player who has an absolutely phenomenal goal-scoring record. I am delighted to have him here," said Pulis. "He has averaged more than a goal every other game for United and he has a proven record of scoring in the top flight. He is someone I have admired for a very, very long time. "We have signed two fantastic players in Matthew Etherington and James Beattie - but we are still looking for more."
Pulis will hope Beattie can rediscover the form and prolific scoring he demonstrated as a youngster at Southampton, which earned him five England caps. A £6m move to Everton in 2005 was less successful and he moved on to Sheffield United for £4m at the start of last season after failing to hold down a regular starting spot at Goodison Park. In contrast, his record at Bramall Lane was terrific, as he got 34 goals in 65 appearances, including 12 this season, to earn himself a return to the top flight.
The Manchester City midfielder Dietmar Hamann has been ruled out for up to three months with a toe injury. The German midfielder ruptured a tendon in training on Monday while kicking a ball, the City manager Mark Hughes said. "He will go over to Zurich to see a surgeon that he has seen with a similar injury before. The feeling is that it is the same thing that has happened before. The best case scenario is that it will be nine weeks," said Hughes.
"Obviously it is a blow for Didi, we are a bit light in midfield areas so we could have done without this. "Until the surgeon looks at him we can't say whether we may have better news on it." Patrice Evra, the Manchester United defender has been ruled out for three weeks with a foot injury. The French left-back suffered the problem when he crossed for Wayne Rooney's goal in his side's 3-0 win over Chelsea at Old Trafford on Sunday.
It was Evra's first game back after a four-match ban imposed by the Football Association for his involvement in a post-match fracas against the Blues at Stamford Bridge last season. The Hull City manager Phil Brown hopes to sign midfielders Luis Boa Morte and Kevin Kilbane this week. A fee has already been agreed with West Ham for Boa Morte, and Brown is now turning his attentions to the deal with Wigan Athletic for Kilbane.
After a strong start to their debut season in the top division, the Tigers have won only once in 12 matches heading into Saturday's home game with Arsenal, who they beat 1-0 earlier in the season. Eleven football fans have been charged with indecent chanting towards Sol Campbell at a Premier League match between Portsmouth and his old club Tottenham Hotspur, Hampshire police confirmed yesterday.
During the match in September Campbell, the former England defender, was the target of abuse which was described by then Portsmouth manager Harry Redknapp, now in charge of Tottenham, as "filthy". Tension between the rival fans has increased since Redknapp's switch to Tottenham in October and striker Jermain Defoe's move back to Spurs last week after he left them to join Portsmouth last January. * Agencies