Football: Blackburn finally sign Ward for pounds 4.5m

ASHLEY WARD last night became Brian Kidd's second signing since he took over as Blackburn's manager, moving to Ewood Park for pounds 4.5m from Barnsley on a four and a half year contract believed to be worth pounds 14,000 a week.

Ward is seen as the perfect substitute for Chris Sutton, who will miss the next six weeks after suffering a knee injury during the 2-1 victory over Aston Villa on Boxing Day. The 28-year-old, who follows the ex-Newcastle winger Keith Gillespie to the club, looks certain to make his debut in this Saturday's FA Cup third round tie at home to Charlton.

Newcastle are expected to unveil the defender Didier Domi as their latest signing this morning for a fee of around pounds 4m from Paris St-Germain. Domi was on Tyneside yesterday, but did not travel to Liverpool with the squad.

The former French international Mickael Madar is moving the other way and joining PSG on a six-month loan from Everton, the French club said yesterday. The 30-year-old striker joined Everton a year ago from the Spanish club, Deportivo La Coruna.

The Rangers manager, Dick Advocaat, has refused to commit himself to the club beyond his existing two-year contract. The Dutchman stressed that talk of his long-term future is premature, even though he has said he thinks the job of making Rangers as strong as he would like will take longer than the year and a half remaining on his present deal.

The Scottish veteran striker John McGinlay has signed an 18-month contract with Oldham Athletic. The 34-year-old has been paid on a match- to-match basis since joining the Second Division strugglers from Bradford in October, after recovering from persistent Achilles tendon trouble that ended his hopes of going to the World Cup in France with Scotland.

McGinlay will be reminded of one of his finest moments when he faces Chelsea in the FA Cup third round at Boundary Park on Saturday. He was part of the Bolton team that had remarkable cup runs in 1996, scoring in a memorable League Cup victory over Chelsea.

McGinlay said: "I'm pleased to have got this contract sorted out. Initially Oldham were only offering me a deal until the end of the season, but to get the extra year is a big boost.

Preston's manager, David Moyes, will use pounds 600,000 from coffers swelled by income from the forthcoming FA Cup tie against Arsenal to finance a club record bid for Richard Cresswell. Moyes has made an offer for the York striker who is also being watched by Premier League clubs. York value Cresswell at pounds 1m.

Preston will have a sell-out crowd at Deepdale against the Double winners and with live TV coverage they are guaranteed around pounds 300,000 from the night.

The veteran Italian midfielder, Nicola Berti, is leaving Tottenham to join Fluminense in Brazil. The Rio club said yesterday that the 31-year- old would sign a two-year contract with them on Saturday. The contract, said to be worth pounds 250,000 a year, is expected to be financed in part by Brazil's FonteCindam investment bank.

Berti, who played for Italy in the World Cups of 1990 and 1994, is part of a rebuilding campaign by Fluminense, who slipped into the equivalent of the Third Division last season after being one of Brazil's leading clubs in the Eighties .

The 31-year-old French defender, Jean-Guy Wallemme, who joined Coventry from Lens in the summer, is expected to complete his return to France today by signing for Sochaux.

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