Graham to sign Hasselbaink Mark II

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The Independent Online
GEORGE GRAHAM, the Leeds United manager, has signed the Dutch striker Clyde Wijnhard from Willem II for pounds 2m. The powerful 24-year-old flew in to complete contract talks and have a medical. He will be a new partner for Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink.

Wijnhard was prolific in the Dutch First Division last season with 15 goals for his club, and Graham was impressed with him on spying trips as he scoured Europe. Like Hasselbaink, Winjhard was born in Surinam and is a similar type who will add strength to the Leeds attack at home and in the Uefa Cup next season.

Manchester United are unlikely to pursue their interest in Argentinian international striker Gabriel Batistuta. It was rumoured United were prepared to spend pounds 11m on the 29-year-old Fiorentina player just over a week after paying pounds 10.7m for the Dutch defender, Jaap Stam.

United's reservegoalkeeper Kevin Pilkington has joined the long-serving Brian McClair as the second squad player on the list of players to be released by Manchester United this summer. The youngsters Stuart Brightwell, David Brown, Ross Millard and Gavin Naylor are others leaving Old Trafford. United have, however, offered a new contract to the winger Ben Thornley.

McClair is now wanted by Macclesfield Town, but the Second Division club's manager, Sammy McIlroy, has yet to sign a new contract due to a creditors' bill believed to be approaching pounds 500,000.

Since the suicide of their former chairman, Arthur Jones, nearly 18 months ago, the newly-promoted Cheshire club have been locked in complicated legal discussions with the creditors of his bankrupt business. McIlroy reckons the fear of that bill is stopping major investors coming into the club to fund next season's Second Division campaign just 12 months after becoming a Football League club.

McIlroy said: "The club have to sort this out for us to go forward. But I still have one year left on my current contract and expect to lead the club into next season."

Town have been in dispute with Jones' creditors over whether the cash he pumped into the club was a personal gift or a loan from his company.

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