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The Denmark international was close to joining Ian Holloway's side in the summer but required an extensive conditioning programme to get him in shape for the season

BENDTNER NINE POUNDS OVERWEIGHT FOR PALACE MEDICAL

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BENDTNER'S ARSENAL CAREER
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Nicklas Bendtner's deadline-day move to Crystal Palace collapsed after Arsenal failed in a last-ditch bid to sign Demba Ba on loan from Chelsea.

Palace wanted to reunite Bendtner with his former team-mate, Marouane Chamakh, even though a medical revealed that the Dane was nine pounds overweight.

The Sweeper understands that the newly promoted Premier League club were preparing to place the Gunners forward, who scored twice for Denmark against Italy on Friday, on an eight-week conditioning programme to get him primed for the campaign.

With Olivier Giroud the only senior striker at the Emirates Stadium, Bendtner has been given a chance to resurrect his Arsenal career but he is only expected to get a maximum of a one-season stay of execution.

- Wayne Veysey

LESCOTT LEFT IN LIMBO BY MANCHESTER CITY

Joleon Lescott has been told that there are no plans for new contract talks before the New Year.

The Manchester City central defender's deal is up at the end of this campaign, with no sign on the horizon of him staying put.

Lescott currently earns around £95,000 a week and City's director of football, Txiki Begiristain, wants to take stock of squad requirements and balance the budgets even further.

The 31-year-old would be happy to stay at the Etihad Stadium, although Newcastle and Aston Villa are interested in taking him on a free transfer and could also get close to his current pay with no fee involved.

- Paul Clennam


WEST BROM PLAYERS SET FOR £5000-A-POINT BONUS IF CLUB STAY UP

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The West Brom squad have been handed extra motivation for maintaining the club's Premier League status beyond this season.

The Sweeper understands that every first-team player will receive £5,000 for each league point that the Baggies collect over the course of the 38-match campaign if they stay up.

Under this incentivised scheme, each West Brom player would have received £245,000 last season, when Steve Clarke's team accrued 49 points to finish in eighth place.

The club's long-standing chairman, Jeremy Peace, believes that it is a price well worth paying in the first year of the new blockbuster Premier League TV rights deal, in which every top-tier club is guaranteed a minimum of £61.9 million, rising to £97.1m for the eventual champions.

- Wayne Veysey

NORWICH CITY FANS PROPOSE BOYCOTT OF MANCHESTER UNITED CUP TIE

Manchester United face a backlash from Norwich City supporters after demanding £46 a ticket for their Capital One Cup tie at the end of October.

The Canaries have been allocated over 10,000 tickets for the game at Old Trafford on October 29 but Norwich fans have started a Twitter campaign to boycott the midweek game due to their disgust over the pricing.

They have pointed to the fact the United price is £21 more than Arsenal are charging them for their Premier League fixture at the Emirates Stadium just 10 days earlier.

- Paul Clennam

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