Football: Coleman turns down pounds 2.1m move to Keegan's Fulham

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Fulham look to have been thwarted in their attempt to continue their spending spree, after the purchase of the Blackburn Rovers defender Chris Coleman fell through due to a hitch over personal terms.

Although Fulham were prepared to break their transfer record - which was only set a few weeks ago with the purchase of Paul Peschisolido from West Bromwich for pounds 1.2m - with an offer of pounds 2.1m, it seems they were unable to match the player's wages of around pounds 5,000 a week.

Fulham did, however, pay Derby pounds 600,000 yesterday for the midfielder Paul Trollope.

The Wimbledon manager, Joe Kinnear, was last night given the backing of the club's co-owner, Sam Hammam, who insisted there had never been any plans to hire Norway's coach, Egil Olsen.

Hammam, who is in his native Lebanon on business, moved quickly to dispel rumours after Kinnear threatened to walk away if his position was not clarified. His future was put in doubt by suggestions from Norway that the club's multi-millionaire backers, Bjorn Rune Gjelsten and Kjell Inge Rokke, wanted Olsen, who watched Wimbledon lose to Manchester United on Saturday, in charge by the start of next season.

Hammam, a co-owner of the south London club with the Norwegian pair, said: "The matter has never been raised with my partners and I doubt it ever will," Hammam said. "The answer if they did would be an absolute `no' and I have absolute sole control over who is appointed to what position at Wimbledon."

Jan Petter Storetvedt, a spokesman for the Norwegian pair, said: "It is a source of regret that Joe Kinnear is frustrated, but we don't think he has grounds to be. He is in the first year of a five-year contract and he has received clear signals that Wimbledon wants him to see the contract out."

Bolton Wanderers have denied their South African defender, Mark Fish, permission to play for the Rest of the World against Europe in Marseilles on 4 December in an exhibition match which precedes the World Cup draw. Bolton are concerned at the number of Premiership matches Fish is missing because of international call-ups.

The Leeds United defender David Wetherall has signed a new five-year contract with the Elland Road club.

Fifa, the governing body of world football, is hoping to succeed where diplomatic efforts have failed by trying to set up a friendly match between Palestine and Israel in New York. The sport's world governing body is holding talks with the Palestinian President, Yasser Arafat, about organising the game.

Exeter City's player-coach, Noel Blake, could make his international debut for Jamaica, where he grew up, in the World Cup finals - at the age of 36.

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