West Bromwich Albio n's goalkeeping options were significantly reduced yesterday after Wigan Athletic completed the loan signing of Liverpool's Chris Kirkland.
The former Coventry keeper has penned a six-month temporary deal with the option of permanent deal to dispel any faint hopes Albion may have had of luring him to The Hawthorns.
With Tomasz Kuszczak still within Manchester United's radar, it could leave Bryan Robson with Russell Hoult as his only fit senior keeper ahead of their first pre-season fixtures on Saturday.
Albion take two squads to Walsall and Kidderminster Harriers and, if Kuszczak heads to Old Trafford in the interim period, they are likely to call up England Under-18 goalkeeper Luke Daniels.
Boaz Myhill and Scott Carson are on Albion's wanted list in case they need to act swiftly and Robson will want the situation resolved before his troops head off on their preseason tour to Scotland next Wednesday.
Kirkland spent last season on loan at The Hawthorns and Robson was keen to bring the 25-year-old back to the club. However, after Albion's demotion to the Championship Kirkland's agents advised him against dropping down a tier as it could affect his future international chances.
Hence Kirkland's decision to follow Birmingham City striker Emile Heskey to the J JB Stadium, which, according to Paul Jewell, will revitalise his career.
"If Chris can stay injury-free then he will be a great signing for us," said Jewell.
Stuart Nicholson is out of Albion's pre-season tour of Scotland after spraining his ankle in training yesterday.
The teenage striker, drafted into England's Under-19 squad last season, will be out for three weeks after sustaining the injury during Albion's first week back.
It is a blow to Nicholson as, with Kanu and Kevin Camp-bell yet to return to the club, he was third in line behind John Hartson and Nathan Ellington.
The tour of Scotland would have been the perfect opportunity to stake his claim but he will now be forced to miss the bulk of Albion's pre-season campaign. n Dietmar Hamann will complete one of the shortest transfers in Premiership history today when he joins Manchester City from Bolton Wanderers.
The German midfielder has been coveted by both North-west clubs ever since it became apparent he was not wanted at Liverpool.
At one point, it appeared Sam Allardyce had got his man, only for Hamann to have second thoughts once City boss Stuart Pearce made his bid.
Once it became apparent how determined the 32-year-old was to join the Blues, Allardyce felt he had little option other than to step aside.
Liverpool confirmed the player would leave Anfield for Bolton then a further statement from the Reebok Stadium revealed Hamann would sign for 'another club'.