Strachan ready to spend Keane profit

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The Independent Online

Gordon Strachan will receive most of the money that Internazionale have paid for Robbie Keane for team strengthening, according to his chairman, Bryan Richardson.

Gordon Strachan will receive most of the money that Internazionale have paid for Robbie Keane for team strengthening, according to his chairman, Bryan Richardson.

The Republic of Ireland international completed his £13m move to Inter from Coventry on Saturday, and Richardson promised that the cash would be used to strengthen the team.

"Gordon Strachan will have a very big chunk of it," Richardson said. "We have targeted three players and most of the money will be reinvested, hopefully, in three very successful players for us."

Keane, 20, has signed for Inter - where he will be competing with the formidable foursome of Ivan Zamorano, Hakan Sukur, Christian Vieri and Ronaldo for a place up front - after one season at Coventry. He moved from Wolves for £6m last year, after a number of big clubs chose not to bid for him. The Manchester United manager, Sir Alex Ferguson, famously labelled him a £500,000 player who would only get a place in his reserve team.

"We knew Inter were interested," Richardson said. "They had been to a number of games during the course of the season and it was not a huge surprise when negotiations started." He added that late interest had been shown from Premiership clubs, but did not reveal the bidders.

Richardson hinted that the West Bromwich Albion striker Lee Hughes could be the man to replace Keane. Strachan has already started the search for his replacement, watching Hughes in Albion's friendly win over Notts County on Friday.

Strachan left soon after the £4m-rated Hughes was replaced by the newcomer Jason Roberts in the second half, and Richardson said: "He is one of many players we're looking at."

West Brom have turned down a £3m bid for Hughes from Birmingham this summer, and the Baggies' chairman, Paul Thompson, said on the club's official website: "We do not wish to sell Lee Hughes and we're not looking to. But if Coventry wanted to offer us £13m, then that would be different."

The Tottenham winger David Ginola announced on his website yesterday evening that he has signed for Aston Villa.

The veteran Wolves goalkeeper Mike Stowell was in magnificent form in his testimonial match at Molineux yesterday but he could not prevent Aston Villa from strolling to a 2-0 victory with goals from Ian Taylor and Lee Hendrie.

Chelsea's Dan Petrescu completed a £1m move to Bradford City yesterday, barely 24 hours after opening negotiations with the Yorkshire club. The 32-year-old Romanian international has signed a four-year deal at Valley Parade in what he insists will be the last move of his career.

The City chairman, Geoffrey Richmond, revealed that his club had beaten off a late bid from Middlesbrough to get the utility player.

Marc Overmars has revealed that Arsenal made a concerted effort to keep him. The Dutch winger formally completed his move to Barcelona as part of the £30m package which also takes his team-mate Emmanuel Petit to the Nou Camp.

"The negotiations weren't easy," he said. "When I spoke to [the Arsenal chairman] David Dein he was not happy at all that I was leaving. But I take that as a compliment because it shows that they weren't interested in the money - they were just interested in keeping me."

Barcelona's plundering of the Premiership's leading players will not include Rio Ferdinand, according to the West Ham United manager, Harry Redknapp.

Spanish sources continue to link the Catalan club with the 22-year-old defender and an offer of in excess of £15m has been mentioned, but Redknapp, who has had to fend off potential buyers on an almost weekly basis this summer, said: "Why would I want to sell Rio Ferdinand now for £15m when he'll be worth at least £20m next year? Rio isn't going anywhere because we haven't got enough defenders without him. Next year he'll be playing for England and he'll be worth millions more."

Sheffield Wednesday have had a £500,000 bid for the Norwich City defender Matt Jackson turned down.

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