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Venables future still in doubt

Leeds: Terry Venablesí future as coach of Leeds United remained in doubt on Friday although at the end of a tense news conference he hinted he would stay at the Premier League club.

ďIt is fair to say that I am leaning towards staying, I have a responsibility to the players who are still here,Ē he told the Elland Road conference called after the transfers of striker Robbie Fowler to Manchester City and defender Jonathan Woodgate to Newcastle United.ďI havenít actually said I am going to stay, thatís come out, but Iíve not spoken to anyone since yesterday afternoon so itís an assumption everyoneís made,Ē he said.

Asked about the sale of Woodgate, he said: ďI donít want to inflame the situation. Itís already a very raw position at the moment, but I think as you know itís been stated already that if Robbie Fowler went, Jonathan Woodgate would not go.Ē

Fowler was sold to Manchester City for £6 million on Thursday. England defender Woodgate was completing his £9 million move to Newcastle on Friday.

Ridsdale, explaining the sales, said Leeds had no alternative but to bring in much-needed revenue to a club whose debts were nearly £80 million when Venables took over as coach in July.

Including the sale of centre back Rio Ferdinand to Manchester United for £30 million last summer and striker Robbie Keane for £7 million to Tottenham Hotspur, Leeds have now sold virtually half a team and raised £52 million. (Reuters)

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