Football: Bilic move put on hold

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The Independent Online
SLAVEN BILIC'S escape from Everton back to West Ham will not happen until next week at the earliest. The likely pounds 1m deal has been put on hold until the Hammers return from their weekend Intertoto Cup game with Jokerit in Finland.

Bilic is believed to have returned to Croatia because of a family problem, so until the West Ham manager, Harry Redknapp, and the player are back in England next week the move is stalled. Redknapp said: "The situation has not progressed any further as yet. We have spoken to someone who acts for Slaven, but that's as far as it goes. We are still a little way from a deal."

Bilic could go for pounds 1m, although Redknapp is pushing for a free transfer in his attempt to re-sign the player he sold to Goodison Park for pounds 4.5m two years ago.

The Aston Villa manager, John Gregory, is confident that he will soon add Wolverhampton Wanderers' striker Robbie Keane to his list of summer signings. Gregory is with Villa in New York to take part in a four-team pre-season tournament, but he insisted that negotiations aimed at landing the pounds 6m Keane before the Premiership kicks off on 7 August will continue in his absence.

Gregory said: "We are very happy with the way things are going forward on that score."

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