Football: Ipswich sign pounds 1m Uruguayan

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The Independent Online
IPSWICH last night equalled a club record by paying pounds 1m for the Uruguayan international striker, Adrian Paz, from Penarol of Montevideo, and followed up their coup by signing Maurico Tarico, a utility player from Argentina.

Paz, 25, who partners Internazionale's Ruben Sosa in the national team, will watch Ipswich at Aston Villa tomorrow.

Coventry are also set to break the seven-figure barrier after agreeing a fee of pounds 1.5m with Manchester United for Dion Dublin, the former Cambridge striker. The deal depends on the player accepting personal terms.

Meanwhile, Lou Macari last night emerged as favourite to return as manager of Stoke City following the exit of Joe Jordan 'by mutual consent'.

Jordan's departure, only 10 months after he succeeded Macari, followed 24 hours of unrest at the Victoria Ground. On Tuesday, fans demonstrated against both the manager and the chairman, Peter Coates, after Stoke's draw with Ancona in the Anglo-Italian Cup. The next day, Coates ousted two 'rebel' directors.

Asa Hartford, who played alongside Jordan and Macari with Scotland, will take charge for tomorrow's First Division home game against Southend. However, the clamour for Macari, who still lives in the Potteries, will be hard for the Stoke directors to resist when they discuss an appointment next Monday.

Jordan's demise came after three successive league defeats, which left Stoke in 22nd place. Pressure on him mounted after Celtic dismissed Macari in June. However, Macari's claim for severance pay has yet to be resolved, which means his return is not a formality.

'I have no comment to make until the boardroom position stabilises,' he said. 'I've been through that sort of upheaval at Celtic, and it's not something you'd want to walk into again.'

The careers of Jordan and Macari - who also played together for Manchester United - have been closely linked. Jordan vacated the assistant manager's post at Celtic after the sacking of Liam Brady. Then, after Macari left for Glasgow, Stoke replaced him with Jordan.

Paul Ware, a midfield player told he had no future at Stoke, accepted an offer to join Stockport before Stoke's parting with Jordan and honoured his word yesterday.

Rangers, also in turmoil after three consecutive defeats, yesterday patched up their differences with the French defender Basile Boli. The pounds 2.7m signing from Marseille claimed his criticism in a French magazine of the manager, Walter Smith, was the result of an incorrect translation. After meeting the player, Smith accepted there had been 'a grave misunderstanding'.