Cantona threatens to quit

Football
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The Independent Online
Even though he has been excluded from the European Championship, Eric Cantona cannot keep out of the news. Last night the Frenchman apparently threatened to quit football in a row over the misuse of his name on commercial products.

Jean-Jacques Bertrand, the Manchester United player's lawyer, issued a statement reading: "Eric Cantona will quit football if English companies do not stop associating his name with products that he has not given permission for his name to be used on. [Some companies] have scandalously abused his name and have nothing to do with him or with Manchester United. The public must not be fooled by these advertising campaigns."

Blackburn Rovers have secured the signature of the Panathinaikos winger, Yorgos Donis. The 26-year-old Greek international, who was believed to be a target for Manchester United, Arsenal and Rangers after helping the Athens club reach the semi-finals of the European Cup, has agreed terms after visiting Ewood Park.

Donis, who has 27 caps and is available on a free transfer, is believed to have negotiated a pounds 20,000 per-week deal. "We have watched him for several months," Tony Parkes, Blackburn's assistant manager, said. "He is exceptionally quick."

Manchester United's Gary Neville missed England's pre-European Championship training for the third day running yesterday with a nagging thigh strain. That could mean Phil Neville stepping into his elder brother's shoes for England's opening game against Switzerland on Saturday. Les Ferdinand is also bothered by a groin strain.

The Swiss were reported to be unhappy yesterday when their plans for a run-out on the Wembley turf were postponed until today by the rehearsal for Saturday's opening ceremony. The Sion midfielder Patrick Sylvestre, 27, has been added to their squad to replace Christophe Ohrel, who broke his toe in training on Monday.

Peter Reid will commit himself to guiding Sunderland's Premiership future for the next three years by signing a new contract in the near future. The Ipswich Town manager, George Burley, has signed a new three-year contract with the First Division club, while the former England goalkeeper, Peter Shilton, who spent a turbulent two and a half years in charge at Plymouth Argyle, is seeking a return to football management with Blackpool.

Shilton, out of management since late 1994, has applied for the vacancy created by Sam Allardyce's departure. Other applicants include the former Stockport manager, Danny Bergara, the former Leeds defender, Nigel Worthington, and the ex-Blackpool player, Dave Bamber.

David Hodgson, the former Darlington manager, has turned down an offer to become manager of Scarborough, while Torquay United have put their youth-team coach, Kevin Hodges, 35, in charge of team affairs, handing him the title of player-coach. He will assisted by two former playing colleagues at Plymouth: Garry Nelson and Steve McCall.

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