Everton to fall back on Kendall

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The Independent Online
Football

Everton turned back the clock again yesterday by moving to make Howard Kendall their manager for the third time.

After Andy Gray's decision to remain with Sky Television, Everton's chairman, Peter Johnson, summoned Kendall from a holiday in Spain for the second time in a week. First, it was for an interview that came to seemed to have come nothing; yesterday, he wanted to offer him a with a job offer. Talks were in progress yesterday with Sheffield United, Kendall's current employers.

Kendall will appoint his own staff at Goodison, which will leave the club with a strong sense of "All our yesterdays". Kendall intends to bring in Viv Busby, his friend and assistant at Sheffield United, and his former Everton player, Adrian Heath, now manager of Burnley. Colin Harvey, Kendall's old coach, has already rejoined as head of the youth side.

Kendall brought Everton glory in the 1980s before leaving for Athletic Bilbao in Spain. He returned for a less successful period before once more walking away, this time when the board refused to back his judgement in the transfer market.

Another deal that was apparently signed and sealed seemed to be unravelling yesterday as the world governing body, Fifa, said Ronaldo may have contravened their international transfer regulations even though Internazionale claim to have secured his services.

The Brazilian's lawyers say the world footballer of the year is a free agent, having obtained his release from Barcelona last Friday when he bought out his contract for 4bn pesetas (pounds 17m). But Fifa rules state that a player cannot buy out his contract for the purposes of obtaining an international transfer. Any moves abroad must be negotiated by the two teams.

"The provision is strictly Spanish law and does not apply internationally," Fifa's deputy secretary, Michel Zen-Ruffinen, said. "The Italian club apparently believes the rule applies everywhere and once a player is free on Spanish territory is free to sign wherever."

The Spanish federation has submitted a complaint to Fifa on behalf of Barcelona, claiming that Inter have violated the Fifa rule which states that, any club wishing to talk to a player under contract to another club must obtain permission from his current club first. "Which apparently has not been done," Zen-Ruffinen said.

Inter yesterday said they had refused a pounds 4m offer from Liverpool for Paul Ince, and hope to persuade him to stay.

Blackburn Rovers have signed the French defender Patrick Valery, on a free transfer from Bastia.The 27-year-old full-back is expected to join his new colleagues for pre-season training next week.

Jan Sorensen, a former captain of Denmark, is expected to be named as the new manager of Walsall. Sorensen, who played for Ajax and Bruges, impressed the Second Division club's chairman, Jeff Bonser, and the rest of the board during his interview despite being out of the game for some time.

Sixteen clubs are planning to break away from the League and for their own First Division. According to a report in the London Evening Standard, the scheme, apparently being developed under the working title of the Phoenix League, would involve the bigger clubs from the current First division, like Middlesbrough, Wolves, Sheffield United, Sunderland and Manchester City, but would exclude smaller ones, like Reading, Oxford, Swindon and Tranmere.

The League's spokesman, Chris Hull, said: "The proposal has as much credibility as a clotheshorse in the Grand National."

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