Dalglish takes on new role

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The Independent Online
Ray Harford, who had been the focus of attention for one or two Premiership clubs with a mangerial vacancy to fill, has been promoted from chief coach to the role of team manager of the new champions, Blackburn Rovers, with Kenny Dalglish moving "upstairs" to the position of director of footbal.l

The club described the move as "a natural progression maintaining both continuity and stability". Dalglish, who quit as manager of Liverpool when the pressure became overbearing and is now nearing the end of his fourth year in charge at Ewood Park, said: "I just want to ease off from what has been virtually a seven-day week commitment."

Alan Shearer, the club's top scorer, has quashed speculation that he might move abroad when his contract ends by agreeing to stay at Blackburn for "at least" the next four years.

four years.

"I was aware of growing foreign interest and know that I could have moved to one of the world's glamour clubs,'' Shearer said.

"But I think it will give me much more pleasure helping Blackburn to become as well known on the world stage as they are in Britain. "What we have at Blackburn must be the envy of every club in the country - a real family spirit on and off the field.''

Liverpool's chief executive, Peter Robinson, said that he was not aware of any potential problems with the pounds 8.5m signing of the Nottingham Forest striker Stan Collymore. Reportedly, the move is under threat following a row over a pounds 425,000 cut, to which Collymore believes he is entitled. Forest, apparently, do not think that he is.

"It quite clearly states in his contract at Forest, which still has two more years to run, that he would be entitled to 5 per cent of the fee if he was to be sold at our behest," Frank Clark, the Forest manager, said.

"Nobody in their right mind could possibly believe that we want Stan to go. We have done everything in our power to keep him with us."

Roberto Baggio, the Italian midfielder, is reported in a Sunday newspaper as saying that Manchester United are one of only three teams for whom he would consider playing. His lawyer, Mel Goldberg, is quoted as saying: "I will contact Alex Ferguson about a move to Manchester United."

Ferguson has around pounds 8.5m to spend in the transfer market once he returns from a family holiday following the recent sales of Paul Ince to Internazionale and Mark Hughes to Chelsea.

Those moves have caused unrest among the Manchesterr United supporters and a signing like Baggio would go some way to appeasing the fans. The Bulgarian international, Hristo Stoichkov, and Mark Draper from Leicester are believed to be on of Ferguson's wanted list.

Newcastle's Barry Venison is discussing terms with Graeme Souness, the newly appointed manager of Galatasaray, who are also poised to sign another former Liverpool player, Mike Marsh, from Coventry.