Football: Anelka says press has made his life misery

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The Independent Online
NICOLAS ANELKA'S desire to leave Arsenal and England far behind appears to be intensifying, with the English media apparently to blame.

"I'm certainly going to leave one day," the 20-year-old French international striker said in an interview with France Football magazine. "My decision to leave or stay has been taken. The only thing I can tell you is that I can't stand the English press, which causes me, on a personal level, enormous problems. They're always inventing things. If they carry on, I'm going to leave. And as they're not going to stop, things seem to be heading that way."

Peter Schmeichel is definitely on his way, with Roma set to offer the outgoing Manchester United goalkeeper a contract. The Italian club had preliminary discussions with the Dane's advisers two months ago. Bordeaux and Monaco are also in the hunt, but their hopes are receding.

Derby have sealed the signing of Crewe's England Under-21 midfielder Seth Johnson in a deal believed to be worth a club-record pounds 3m. He was originally due to sign for Derby in March but decided to stay at Gresty Road to help the Alex's successful fight against relegation from the First Division.

Blackburn are trying to sign another England Under-21 player, the Aston Villa centre-half Riccardo Scimeca, and may set up a pounds 10m exchange deal involving Chris Sutton. Rovers' interest in their player creates an opening for Villa to push through a quick transfer for Sutton, who is poised to leave the relegated club.

Villa have also been linked with the Swedish international striker Kennet Andersson, who plays in Italy for Bologna. He is priced at pounds 6m.

West Ham are on the verge of signing the defender Gary Charles from the Portuguese club Benfica in a pounds 1m deal.

The right-back was taken to Lisbon from Villa last year by Graeme Souness, but the former Liverpool manager was sacked by Benfica last month and now Charles wants to return to England.

Gerard Houllier, the Liverpool manager has moved to strengthen the Anfield club's defence by recruiting the giant Finnish centre-back Sami Hyypia in a pounds 3m deal from the Dutch side Willem II Tilburg.

Hyypia has captained Willem II to Champions' League qualification, but has opted to add his towering 6ft 4in frame to the heart of the Premiership's most maligned rearguard.

The West Ham manager Harry Redknapp has expressed an interest in re-signing the defender Slaven Bilic from Everton. The Croatian international was sold by the Hammers to the Goodison Park club in May 1997 for pounds 4.5m.

Andy Sinton, Roger Nilsen and Clive Wilson have all been given free transfers by Tottenham as the White Hart Lane manager, George Graham, continues to rebuild his squad.

Nilsen, a Norwegian defender, had only been at White Hart Lane since the transfer deadline day in March, after being signed for an undisclosed fee from Sheffield United.

The former England international midfielder John Barnes has been released by relegated Charlton Athletic.

Carlisle United, who were saved from relegation to the Nationwide Conference by a last-minute goal from their goalkeeper in their final match of the Third Division season, have dismissed their director of football, Nigel Pearson.

The former Sheffield Wednesday and Middlesbrough defender may be replaced at Brunton Park by Ian McCall, the manager of Clydebank.