Football: Sinclair is poised for move to West Ham

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The Independent Online
West Ham's manager, Harry Redknapp, is confident he will complete the signing of the Queen's Park Rangers forward Trevor Sinclair on Monday.

The deal for the former England Under-21 man will probably be made up of cash plus players, but it not clear who will be heading for Loftus Road in exchange. Iain Dowie, Ian Bishop, Tim Breacker and Keith Rowland are thought to be among the candidates.

Redknapp has been chasing Sinclair since before Christmas, and sees him as a key part of his rebuilding programme. "A deal has been agreed but we are still working out which players will go in the other direction," he said.

Daniele Dichio, the former Queen's Park Rangers striker who joined Sampdoria under the Bosman ruling last summer, is poised to sign for Sunderland, who had a pounds 2m bid for Dichio turned down last year. The 23-year-old is expected to complete the pounds 750,000 move early next week, ending his disappointing stint in Italy's Serie A.

Ron Atkinson is hoping to persuade Andy Griffin, the 18-year-old Stoke left-back, to join Sheffield Wednesday, rather than Newcastle or Leicester. The Wednesday manager expects to be given permission to talk to Griffin over the weekend if Wednesday confirm they are matching the pounds 1.3m valuation.

Chris Kamara, Stoke's new manager, hopes to sign Celtic's Scotland left- back, Scott McKinlay, on loan for the rest of the season as a replacement for Griffin.

Russell Osman, the 38-year-old former England defender, has been sacked as the manager of Cardiff City on the eve of the club's FA Cup fourth- round tie against Reading. Osman, who had been criticised by some fans in recent weeks because of Cardiff's disappointing League form, was told at the end of a near four-hour board meeting. Kenny Hibbitt, the club's director of football, takes over the manager's role.

Crystal Palace are giving a trial to a former Milan player, Patrizio Billio, who hopes to link up at Selhurst Park with his fellow Italians, Attilio Lombardo and Michele Padovano.

One of Chelsea's Italians, Gianfranco Zola, has been left out of Italy's squad for next week's World Cup warm-up game against Slovakia at Catania. Also missing is the Internazionale goalkeeper, Gianluca Pagliuca.

Zola's recent performances for Italy have not impressed the coach, Cesare Maldini, who has recalled the young Parma goalkeeper, Gianluigi Buffon, as the understudy to the experienced Angelo Peruzzi, of Juventus. With Peruzzi absent, Buffon substituted for the injured Pagliuca during the away leg of Italy's World Cup play-off against Russia in Moscow last October and performed well in the 1-1 draw. Zola did not play in either play-off game.

Richard Sneekes, West Bromwich Albion's Dutch midfielder, has signed a new three-and-a-half year contract with the Midlands club.

Robert Fleck, the former Scotland striker, is on his way out of Norwich City after being told that his contract will not be renewed at the end of the season. The 32-year-old former Chelsea and Rangers player, who has scored 84 goals in 292 appearances during two spells with the Canaries, has been told he can leave as the First Division club needs to cut the wage bill.

Venables has virtually ruled out guiding Australia to the 2002 World Cup. Speaking from London, the former England manager said his future with the Socceroos was uncertain, but it seems increasingly unlikely he will continue after next month's World Series tournament against South Korea, Chile and Japan.

Michael Laudrup will leave the Dutch club Ajax in summer to play his final season with FC Copenhagen and will replaced at Ajax by his younger brother, the Rangers striker Brian, according to reports in Denmark.

- Mark Burton