FOOTBALL: Dailly in pounds 5.5m move to Ewood

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The Independent Online
BLACKBURN ROVERS yesterday signed the Derby County centre-half, Christian Dailly, in a pounds 5.5m deal to replace his fellow Scot, Colin Hendry.

Blackburn's manager, Roy Hodgson, rushed to push through the transfer before last night's midnight Uefa Cup deadline - to play in the competition's early stages - expired.

Dailly had an impressive World Cup campaign for Scotland and was also outstanding in Derby's domestic contests last season. However, the money for the versatile player, signed cheaply from Dundee United two years ago, was too good for the Derby manager, Jim Smith, to refuse. Dailly can play centre-half, right-back, left-back or in midfield, but Hodgson sees his pace and strength filling the Hendry berth in the heart of his defence.

Blackburn turned to Dailly after finding Tottenham were unprepared to part with their England defender, Sol Campbell, for less than pounds 16m.

David Unsworth's unhappy few weeks at Aston Villa ended yesterday when his pounds 3m return to Everton was completed. Unsworth, only bought by Villa from West Ham last month, has been wanted for some time by the new Goodison manager, Walter Smith, and will go straight into the squad for Saturday's match at Leicester City.

Unsworth said: "I'm absolutely delighted to be back - it's been a long time coming. Sometimes in football it happens but I'm just totally relieved to be back. Walter's been fantastic throughout it all and he's wanted me from day one."

Smith added: "We're pleased to have him back. When he became available from West Ham we tried to get him but Villa got in there. Subsequently there's been quite a long wrangle between the two clubs but that's finished now. He had a really good season last season and I think he's maturing as a player."

David Beckham's father and West Ham's old boy Geoff Hurst combined yesterday to urge fans at Upton Park to show their sportsmanship when Manchester United visit Upton Park tomorrow.

Ted Beckham has asked West Ham supporters to be understanding in their treatment of his son, who has been harangued since being sent off against Argentina in the World Cup. "I just cannot believe that some people are like this with one player. It is because of who he plays for," Mr Beckham said.

Sir Geoff Hurst, speaking at a launch event for a Premier League Hall of Fame, said the country has gone "over the top" in its anger against Beckham. "He has to ram the voices of the opposing fans back down their throats," Sir Geoff said.

Wolverhampton Wanderers have agreed a one-year loan deal with the Dutch side, Feyenoord, for the Republic of Ireland international David Connolly. The striker will sign for Mark McGhee's side, subject to a medical, with a view to a permanent transfer.

Manchester City are making a move to take the Rangers centre-half, Gordan Petric, on loan. Joe Royle wants an experienced defender and has switched to Petric after Southampton's Ken Monkou turned him down.

The Sheffield Wednesday manager, Danny Wilson, is understood to have held talks with his unsettled goalkeeper Kevin Pressman to reassure him his services are still need at Hillsborough, despite speculation the the contrary. "He is an excellent keeper and I rate him highly," Wilson said.

The Soccer Australia chairman, David Hill, who took Terry Venables to Australia as the national coach, will stand down in the near future to concentrate on a political career, he announced yesterday.

The Scottish League Cup giant-killers from the Highlands, Ross County, were yesterday rewarded for their triumph over Dundee United on Wednesday with a quarter-final tie against the Scottish Cup winners, Hearts. The Third Division side will travel to Tynecastle, while First Division Ayr United - the conquerors of Motherwell - have landed the glamour tie, with Rangers visiting Somerset Park.

SCOTTISH LEAGUE CUP Fourth round draw: Ayr Utd v Rangers; Hearts v Ross County; Kilmarnock v Airdrie; St Johnstone v Hibernian. Ties to be played on Tuesday 8 September or Wednesday 9 September.