Chelsea 'poised to sign Gullit'

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The Independent Online
FOOTBALL

BY TREVOR HAYLETT

Chelsea were last night reportedly close to signing Ruud Gullit on a free transfer from the Italian club Sampdoria.

The Dutchman has apparently turned down the chance to join Monaco or to return home to the Netherlands in favour of responding to an offer made to him two weeks ago by Glenn Hoddle, the Chelsea manager.

Chelsea's chief executive, Colin Hutchinson, reportedly flew to Italy last night to seal the deal, which would apparenly bring Gullit up to pounds 20,000 a week.

Niall Quinn, the Republic of Ireland striker, yesterday completed his pounds 1.7m move to Sporting Lisbon, leaving the way clear for Manchester City to formalise the transfer of Maurizio Gaudino from Eintracht Frankfurt. The German club are expecting to hear today whether City are to make Gaudino's move permanent.

Yesterday Gaudino was charged with fraud by German prosecutors over an alleged scandal involving bogus insurance claims for luxury cars. The player denies all the charges. However, Frankfurt do not believe the development will hinder his pounds 1m switch to England.

The City chairman, Francis Lee, said he was hopeful the club would be able to appoint a new manager in succession to Brian Horton by the weekend. Bruce Rioch, the Bolton manager, is a strong contender, but as yet no approaches have been made.

City's managing director, Colin Barlow, said: "He has not applied for our vacancy and we certainly have not approached him, nor have we approached anyone."

The bookmakers William Hill have closed their book on the manager's position at Arsenal after Rioch was backed down from 33-1 to 7-4 favourite.

The future of the Huddersfield manager, Neil Warnock, remains unclear after two meetings with his chairman, Terry Fisher. Warnock has left for a family holiday unable to confirm he would be at the helm when Huddersfield return to the First Division next season. "There is a mutual respect between us but we are never going to be the best of friends," Fisher said. "It's not just about money. It's more about Neil's quality of life and where he is going in the next few years."

The Premier League has been granted an extra 24 hours by Uefa to find three clubs to participate in the Intertoto Cup.

Pat Nevin has withdrawn from Scotland's European Championship qualifier in the Faroe Islands on 7 June through injury.

Eric Cantona has completed his 120 hours of community service after taking his 60th coaching session for youngsters last Friday.

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