Bradford on verge of Carbone deal

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The Independent Online

The Bradford chairman, Geoffrey Richmond, was last night expecting to conclude an "exciting" deal to bring Benito Carbone to Valley Parade. Richmond and the club's manager, Chris Hutchings, were meeting Carbone and his agent inLondon after they arrived from Italy yesterday.

The Bradford chairman, Geoffrey Richmond, was last night expecting to conclude an "exciting" deal to bring Benito Carbone to Valley Parade. Richmond and the club's manager, Chris Hutchings, were meeting Carbone and his agent inLondon after they arrived from Italy yesterday.

Richmond is still refusing to confirm Carbone will be Hutchings' fifth signing of the summer following the recent arrivals of Dan Petrescu, Peter Atherton,David Hopkin and Ian Nolan. But the transfer will conclude five days of negotiations after it became apparent that former target Paulo Wanchope, of West Ham, would be heading to Manchester City.

Richmond then quickly turned his attentions to Carbone and, despite the striker's apparently excessive wage demands, has been able to fund the deal as there is no transfer fee.

Carbone was understood to be demanding £30,000-per-week to stay at Aston Villa, who are believed to have offered just £20,000. But by awarding Carbone a handsome signing-on fee for a three-year contract Richmond can ensure he does not break the club's strict wage structure. Richmond, however, is saying little until this morning's announcement at the club. "The fans will see this as an exciting deal," he said.

"But the problem we've got is that in any signing it is never an absolute certainty until the deal has been done."

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