Football: Derby hope Borbokis will face Liverpool

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The Independent Online
DERBY COUNTY expect to tie up the signing of Vas Borbokis from Sheffield United today. The Rams' proposed swoop for the Greek wing-back, with Jonathan Hunt, Robbie Kozluk and around pounds 500,000 heading to Bramall Lane, has dragged on since Tuesday. However, talks were continuing last night and the east Midlands club are hopeful the 30 year old will soon be a Derby player.

He needs to sign by noon to be eligible for tomorrow's Premiership match with Liverpool at Pride Park, though he may struggle to break into the County line-up after they beat Aston Villa 2-1 on Wednesday. A Derby spokesman said: "Once we knew that we weren't going to get the player's signature in time for him to play against Aston Villa, the heat was taken out of the situation. Jim Smith is sitting down today finalising everything."

United's financial problems are well documented - they are about pounds 6m in debt - and the sticking point is believed to be whether they can offer the Derby pair sufficient money to get them to drop down a division. Hunt, a midfielder, has already had a spell on loan with United earlier this season, while the England Under-21 wing-back, Kozluk, has been on the fringes of the first team for the past two seasons.

The First Division strugglers Swindon Town have lost pounds 1.5m in the last financial year. Compensation paid to their former manager, Steve McMahon, a drop in gate receipts, a bank overdraft of pounds 1.3m and a lack of sales in the transfer market have been blamed for the club trebling their losses from the previous year.

The chairman, Rikki Hunt, said: "It's the way of the footballing world today, but we're not in as bad a position as Portsmouth, Oxford and Crystal Palace. The forecast is that we will have similar losses next year because the climate isn't changing. We're losing money because people aren't coming in, our lack of progress in the cups and the fact we can no longer rely on money generated from transfers."

The Swedish striker Martin Dahlin looks to be on his way back to Blackburn. Dahlin has been on loan at Hamburg SV but the German First Division club said yesterday he would be out of action for up to six weeks because of a back injury. The 30-year-old Swede joined Hamburg last October on loan until the end of the season.

Hamburg have an option to sign him but are unlikely to do so as Dahlin has not scored a single goal and has often been left on the substitutes' bench.

The Huddersfield chairman, Malcolm Asquith, will step down from his post at the end of the season. Ian Ayre, managing director at the McAlpine Stadium, will succeed him.