Football: Hasselbaink peace hope

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The Independent Online
LEEDS UNITED'S chairman, Peter Ridsdale, hopes Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink can settle his differences with the club and stay for at least another season.

Ridsdale said that although Hasselbaink's huge wage demands in talks over a new contract cannot be met, he hopes the rift can be repaired. "I don't know how yet but I am hoping we can go into Saturday's opening match against Derby with Jimmy settled at least for this season," he said.

Leeds rejected Hasselbaink's transfer request on Friday, having turned down a pounds 10.5m bid from Atletico Madrid 24 hours earlier. But Ridsdale said: "I haven't heard a word from Jimmy's agent over the weekend and I find that surprising in the circumstances."

Although Hasselbaink set up a goal for Alan Smith in a 1-0 victory at Birmingham in a friendly on Saturday, he had a subdued game. Ridsdale said: "I think he was clearly affected by what has been going on."

Despite weekend reports that Lazio are poised to enter the bidding for Hasselbaink, Ridsdale said he has heard nothing from the Italians.

Former Manchester United striker Mark Robins has joined Walsall on a free transfer after a trial at the newly promoted First Division club.

Blackburn's manager, Brian Kidd, has said his pounds 2.6m bid for the Bradford City striker, Robbie Blake, is a "take it or leave it" offer. Bradford have valued Blake at pounds 5m, but will probably have to accept less.

John Oster is prepared to forgo a loyalty bonus from Everton in order to join Sunderland in a pounds 750,000 transfer.

Hearts' chairman, Chris Robinson, has ruled out the possibility of the club moving to Murrayfield, the 65,000-capacity rugby union stadium which is within a mile of Hearts' Tynecastle home. A report by Knight, Frank and Rutley, the property consultants, suggested such a move would represent the best way for the club to move forward.

n The host for the 2004 European championships will be announced in Aachen, Germany, on 12 October. Bids from Portugal, Spain and a joint one by Austria and Hungary are under consideration.

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