Football: Fifa hold back on `bung' inquiry

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The Independent Online
FOOTBALL'S WORLD governing body, Fifa, has revealed that the Andrei Kanchelskis transfer from Manchester United to Everton may be investigated - but only if a complaint is made by the Football Association or a licensed agent.

The Russian agent Grigory Essaoulenko has admitted that he was involved with Kanchelskis and in talks with both United and Everton which breached Fifa rules. But Fifa is holding back on a full-scale inquiry into the deal despite details of alleged "bungs" offered to Sir Alex Ferguson and threats to the club's chief executive, Martin Edwards. A Fifa spokesman, Keith Cooper, said last night: "If somebody proves it to us or brings a formal complaint we will look into it. We are not turning a blind eye on it. If an aggrieved party wants to bring it to our attention we will investigate. We cannot react to every story that is in the newspapers."

The Chelsea forward Tore Andre Flo has had talks about his Chelsea future with the Blues' manager, Gianluca Vialli. The Norwegian striker is concerned about his future after the arrival of Chris Sutton. Leeds United are thought to be keen on Flo as a replacement for Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink, and the Italian side Perugia have also expressed an interest.

"I have spoken to Vialli," Flo said yesterday. "He told me that I won't play every game, but it is a long season and I have to be patient. I am flattered by the Leeds interest and also that of Perugia, but I don't think there is much chance of anything happening."

Hasselbaink admitted yesterday that fan pressure is likely to hasten his departure from Elland Road. Hasselbaink was booed and jeered by United supporters during Saturday's friendly at Birmingham and feels he has little chance of trying to win back the respect of the supporters. With Atletico Madrid poised to increase their pounds 10m offer for the Dutch international, Hasselbaink said: "The fans have already made up their mind about me. But I have not given my side of the story, although I don't feel this is the right time to say anything. I may have something to say over the next few days."

Apart from Flo, Leeds have been linked with several potential replacements, including Manchester United's Ole Gunnar Solskjaer and Emile Heskey of Leicester.

Meanwhile, Crystal Palace are accusing Derby County of "kidnapping" their promising Welsh Under-21 player Michael Fowler - and are demanding pounds 1m in compensation. The 17-year-old Palace youth team captain, who can play in defence or midfield, has walked out at the end of his traineeship and the matter is now heading for a transfer tribunal where Palace are likely to get a fraction of what they want.

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