Football: Guivarc'h considers Rangers switch

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The Independent Online
RANGERS YESTERDAY confirmed that they are interested in signing the French international striker Stephane Guivarc'h, who is currently out of favour at Newcastle United.

The Scottish Premier League club attempted to recruit Guivarc'h last season when he was with the French side, Auxerre.

Rangers said in a statement that they had had spoken to both Guivarc'h and Newcastle, but neither the club nor the player had been in touch since the talks.

Guivarc'h rejected Rangers' advances before the World Cup finals despite having been flown to Glasgow in a private jet belonging to the Rangers chairman, David Murray, to inspect the club's set-up. He then stated that he was not interested in playing in Scottish football.

The French World Cup medal winner has had an unhappy time in the Premiership, with injury further limiting his chances of playing.

Guivarc'h was quoted in Newcastle papers yesterday as saying: "Rangers may not be an [English] Premier League club but I am willing to consider anything. I want to think carefully and not rush my decision."

Meanwhile, Rangers' French goalkeeper, Lionel Charbonnier, has admitted he is unlikely to play for his country again as long as the new coach of the French national side, Roger Lemerre, remains in control.

Charbonnier walked out on the French squad ahead of last week's Euro 2000 qualifier in Russia after being told that the former West Ham goalkeeper, Bernard Lama, had been selected above him for the game.

The French went on to win 3-2 without Charbonnier but Lama's performance was hesitant, backing the Ibrox player's claim that Lemerre's decision should have been dictated by form rather than reputation.

Charbonnier said: "I think it will be difficult for me to play for France again until they get a new manager, so at the moment I'm just concentrating on doing my best for Rangers.

"The national manager had not even come to watch me play for Rangers before announcing the squad, so he couldn't have judged me properly.

"After training I went to his room and asked about the Russian game and he clearly didn't want to say I was second choice, so said perhaps if Lama got injured I could play.

"But when I argued he had never even come to see me play for Rangers and that Lama was not in great form he replied: `Lama was good when he was younger'. I told him what I thought of that.

"Why should Lama play based on what he was like at 25? Against Russia he lost a bad goal from a free-kick. If I had lost one like that, Dick Advocaat would have let me know about it."

Motherwell have named Billy Davies as their new manager, after the resignation of their Finnish coach, Harri Kampman yesterday.

Davies, 34, steps up after an impressive spell as the club's Under-21 team coach. His priority is to steer the club away from the foot of the Scottish Premier League.

He arrived in Lanarkshire four seasons ago from Dunfermline to bolster up their midfield. Davies started out at Rangers and also played for St Mirren and Lincoln City.

After replacing Alex McLeish, who had resigned to join Hibernian, Kampman instigated a mass clear-out at Fir Park, releasing 17 players.

This summer he introduced a flood of mostly overseas newcomers, while the former Manchester United player Brian McClair also arrived at Fir Park. However the new-look Motherwell have only managed two wins in nine league games and are only a point off the foot of the table.

At the weekend the first-team squad travelled to Utrecht where they were beaten 4-1 in a friendly, and several players complained of a lack of communication with their coach.

Tommy Campbell has stepped down as manager of the Scottish League Third Division side Montrose because of ill health. His assistant, Brian McLaughlin, assumes control in the interim.