Football; Harford in for McKinlay

Click to follow
The Independent Online
Blackburn Rovers are expected to sign their third new player in a week after moving swiftly to gazump Celtic for the Scotland midfielder, Billy McKinlay.

The Rovers manager, Ray Harford, yesterday matched a bid from Celtic for the Dundee United player yesterday. He expects to tie up the pounds 1.75m transfer immediately, offering almost 50 per cent more than the Scottish club in personal terms.

Blackburn - who signed Lars Bohinen for pounds 700,000 this week - have also recruited Graham Coughlan from the League of Ireland club, Bray Wanderers. The 21-year-old centre-half will join the club for an undisclosed fee, believed to be around pounds 100,000.

Howard Wilkinson, the Leeds United manager, could be about to leave Elland Road to take up a position as technical director of the Football Association. The club's chairman, Leslie Silver, has agreed to let the FA talk to Wilkinson even though he has almost three years of his contract to run. "As responsible members of the Premier League, we would not raise an objection to the FA speaking to him," he said.

Wilkinson, who declined to say whether he was interested in the job, has hired David Williams, Mike Walker's former assistant at Everton, as his No 2.

Terry Venables, the England coach, could be another contender for the FA post, along with the former French and Scottish managers, Gerard Houllier and Andy Roxburgh, and Roy Hodgson, the English coach of the Swiss national team. The FA confirmed that three foreign coaches have been interviewed.

Arsenal have joined Middlesbrough in pursuing Brazil's Juninho. Sao Paulo's football director Julio Barziliara said: "Any other clubs who want to buy our player will have to join the queue behind the English two."