Football: Souness agrees to take over at Torino

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The Independent Online
Graeme Souness, who left Southampton last month after steering them clear of the drop into the second echelon of the English game, yesterday stepped into the Italian second tier, Serie B, by agreeing a two-year contract to coach Torino.

Souness knows Italy well after playing for Sampdoria from 1984 to 1986. "I'm aware that Serie B in Italy is a very competitive league but I'm very confident," Souness told reporters in Turin. "I accepted Torino's offer because I found the directors as hungry for victory as I am."

He got the measure of the task ahead by watching his new side's last game of this season, a 4-0 hammering from Ravenna. That defeat left Torino, once one of Italy's greatest clubs, in ninth place in Serie B, their worst performance on record.

Howard Kendall has been given permission by Sheffield United to speak to Everton about a surprise return to Goodison Park. However, Kendall faces an anxious wait to see the shape of the new management team at the club, where he was previously in charge twice, as chairman Peter Johnson will also interview Andy Gray, Sky TV's football analyst, today.

Kendall is prepared to return in a leading capacity, but Gray is equally keen to have a major say in the running of the ailing Merseyside club. Friends of the Scot say he would not consider the post unless he was in charge.

The idea of a "dream ticket" partnership will need more defining of job descriptions before the move can happen. Although Gray does not have any coaching certificates, he would want to run the first team, leaving Kendall in a general manager role.

There is also the question of whether the pair get on. While Kendall signed Gray and sparked the revival of the mid-80s, the veteran striker was later sold by the manager just days after he bought a house on Merseyside, causing him some upset.

Gray is certainly interested in the post. Some of his closest friends in the game lobbied for him and he would leave his Sky job, where he was won awards, for the hot seat at Goodison. The wage, around pounds 400,000 a year, would also outstrip his TV salary.

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