Arsenal wait for Dugarry

Click to follow
The Independent Online
Arsenal and Blackburn were among a host of European clubs yesterday hoping that at least one of a quartet of internationals who have decided to leave Bordeaux would come knocking on their door.

The French internationals Zinedine Zidane, Christophe Dugarry and Bixente Lizarazu, plus Denmark's Jacob Friis-Hansen are moving on from the Uefa Cup runners-up, with Dugarry the interest at Highbury and Ewood Park.

"We made them interesting offers but we could not match their demands," Alain Afflelou, the Bordeaux president, said after vain efforts to hang on to the four players who will all be in the shop window in Euro 96. "We wanted to keep them but they didn't want to stay."

The striker Dugarry, who has also been linked with Napoli, Internazionale and Juventus, said he would make a decision before the end of the week. Zidane, a gifted playmaker, is negotiating with Juventus, while the defender Lizarazu is expected to join Athletic Bilbao. Friis-Hansen is off to Hamburg.

While the big clubs wait, Third Division Swansea have signed the 6ft 2in former Benfica defender Joao Moreira, who recently had a trial with Birmingham, for an undisclosed five-figure fee.

Bobby Robson arrived in Barcelona yesterday to put his signature on a two-year contract. "It's a great opportunity Barcelona are offering me and I hope to return the team to victory," Robson told crowds gathered at the city's airport.

The former England manager, who will be presented to supporters at the Nou Camp stadium today, added: "There will be reinforcements." Barcelona have already signed the French defender Laurent Blanc from Auxerre, a decision taken by the previous coach, Johan Cruyff, before his unceremonious departure.

Robson, who has been released by the Portuguese champions, Porto, will stay for two weeks to map out the restructuring of the team. He has already indicated that the Romanian Gheorghe Hagi and the Croat Robert Prosinecki are no longer required.

Trevor Sinclair's move from Queen's Park Rangers looks more probable now that Ray Wilkins as shown an interest in the Tottenham Hotspur reserve striker Steve Slade. The transfer of the pounds 5m-rated Sinclair would give relegated Rangers the cash to move for the 20-year-old Slade.

Age is no barrier for turning out with Leyton Orient, whose arrivals from West Ham - Les Sealey and Alvin Martin - have a combined age of 75. Goalkeeper Sealey, 38, who has secured a two-year contract, said: "I could have had a stroll at West Ham but I want competitive football."

The 37-year-old Martin was offered a new deal by the Hammers, but chose a 12-month deal with Third Division Orient, which includes the captaincy. "I have come to gain experience which will help me in my future career," the defender said. "But our reputations are going to be on the line."

Comments