Eriksson in frame for Blackburn job

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The Independent Online
Football

Blackburn Rovers' new manager could be Sven-Goran Eriksson, the highly rated Swede now in charge of Sampdoria.

Eriksson is in the last year of his contract in Italy and would like to take a top job in England after five seasons in Serie A. The English- speaking Eriksson has put out feelers via an agent to the Rovers chairman, Robert Coar, who is thinking over the possibility of a Continental successor to Ray Harford.

Terry Venables, who turned down Blackburn, could be poised to take over as a coach of the Australian national side. The 53-year-old Venables, who became director of football at Portsmouth after leaving the England job at the end of Euro 96, is reported to be "very interested" in the offer.

According to the Melbourne Herald Sun, Venables has already been approached by the governing body, Soccer Australia, to take over from Eddie Thomson, who quit three weeks ago.

It is understood that Soccer Australia is looking for two coaches, one based at home and one overseas to monitor some of the 150 Australians now playing around the world.

A spokesman for Soccer Australia declined to confirm or deny that Venables was due to have an interview this week. "For obvious reasons we have to retain confidentiality on this but I can confirm we are speaking to a number of overseas coaches - as well as ones at home," he said. "We believe we are offering one of the great jobs in world soccer. Whoever takes over as Australia's coach has a superb chance of taking the team to the World Cup in 1998."

Leeds United have made a pounds 3.3m bid to sign the Spanish defender Miguel Angel Nadal from under Manchester United's nose. George Graham has tabled a bigger offer to the Nou Camp club for the 30-year-old centre-back who cannot command a regular place at Barcelona. United will only pay pounds 2.5m for Nadal, who is now ineligible for the Champions' League. However, the player will move to Leeds only if he is sure the Old Trafford chance has gone completely.

Liverpool's manager, Roy Evans, will be investigating the latest allegations about his pounds 8.5m striker Stan Collymore who was alleged to have shouted an obscenity aimed at the press during a reserve game against Sheffield Wednesday at the weekend. The comment was said to have been heard by children sitting nearby. Collymore, who scored twice in a 4-0 win, was playing his first game after his pounds 20,000 fine for going on "strike" last week.

Paul Stretford, Collymore's agent, said: "I've spoken to [chief executive] Peter Robinson at Liverpool and he has not received one complaint. I think it's an absolute disgrace. What worries me is that some reporters were not there to report on the match."

Barry Fry last night said that buying Second Division Peterborough was the "biggest mistake of my life". Fry, also the manager, has put every member of his first-team squad up for sale after announcing that the club was nearly pounds 3m in the red.

Cardiff City have appointed the former England defender Russell Osman as their manager. The 37-year-old former Bristol City player-manager succeeds Phil Neal, who left the Third Division club to assist Steve Coppell at Manchester City.

Bobby Robson's Barcelona are to entertain Celtic in a friendly on Tuesday 26 November. It is expected to attract a 50,000 full house, with the 20-year-old Brazilian Ronaldo, who has set Spanish football alight since Robson bought him from PSV Eindhoven in July for pounds 13.5m, the big draw.

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