Football: Italians close on Everton winger

Fiorentina officials were flying into Merseyside yesterday aiming to put the seal on their bid to buy Andrei Kanchelskis from Everton. The Italians have offered pounds 6m for the Russian international winger, but Everton are believed to be holding out for pounds 8m.

Fiorentina, who claim to have the player's agreement for the move, received a fax from Everton yesterday inviting them to settle the deal this evening. The Fiorentina managing director, Luciano Luna, who faces a race against time as the transfer market in Italy closes at midnight, said: "Kanchelskis has always been one of our objectives.

"On Monday night, we made a substantial offer to Everton. We hope to wrap everything up by 30 January, so that he can start straight away. However, we're also willing to buy him after 30 January," Luna added. "We've already agreed terms with Kanchelskis over salary and the length of the contract." The package is believed to be a basic pounds 2.5m for the four-year contract, plus bonuses.

The Everton manager, Joe Royle, splashed out pounds 5.5m to bring Kanchelskis from Manchester United two summers ago, hoping he would be the spark to ignite the club. Kanchelskis quickly won over the fans but his displays this season have been hugely disappointing.

However, the Fiorentina coach, Claudio Ranieri, has been impressed with the winger after watching recent tapes of him in action. The Italians hope that, playing alongside the Argentinian striker Gabriel Batistuta, Kanchelskis would give them a chance of finishing second in Serie A this season and earning a place in the expanded Champions' League.

Paul Gascoigne will be included in Glenn Hoddle's England squad to face Italy at Wembley on 12 February despite having his left ankle in plaster. The England coach held further talks with the Rangers manager, Walter Smith, yesterday and now believes Gascoigne, injured in a six-a-side tournament in Amsterdam on Monday, has a fighting chance of making the game.

"I've spoken to Glenn and told him I will be ready for the England match - there's no doubt about it," Gascoigne said last night. "Monday is vital for me, as I'll see if I'm training Tuesday or Wednesday. Hopefully next Wednesday I'll be kicking a ball."

Hoddle has seen his plans disrupted by injuries to Teddy Sheringham and Andy Hinchcliffe. David Platt is still suffering from a hamstring problem and Darren Anderton remains a perennial casualty .

On the plus side, Alan Shearer is back and set to pick up the captain's armband again - and Graeme Le Saux is set to complete his year-long battle against a serious ankle injury and regain his international place. The 28-year-old looks likely to be propelled straight into the team in the absence of Hinchcliffe, who had made the left wing-back position his own until he suffered a long-term knee ligament injury against Leeds last December.

Alex Ferguson's sick list is a big worry for Hoddle, with David Beckham struggling with an ankle injury and Gary Pallister's back still a problem. But Liverpool's Jamie Redknapp has reclaimed his Anfield place and will hope for an England call as well, though Newcastle's Rob Lee is another option.

Up front Shearer is booked for his comeback against the Italians, probably to resume his pounds 21m Tyneside partnership with Les Ferdinand. Between them they have hit 35 goals for Newcastle this season and they were up front together when Poland were beaten 2-1 at Wembley last October.

With Ian Wright back from club suspension for Arsenal, Robbie Fowler going strong for Liverpool and Matt Le Tissier still producing the goods at The Dell, Hoddle's only doubt is over the form of Everton's Nick Barmby.

David Seaman's return to fitness removes worries about the goalkeeping position, but both Ian Walker and David James have been in mixed form since the game against Georgia in Tbilisi and Hoddle will be re-examinining the claims of Tim Flowers and Nigel Martyn.

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Case Handler - Probate

£18000 - £25000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: An exciting opportunity has ari...

Recruitment Genius: Web / Graphic Designer

£10000 - £16000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Due to rapid customer growth, a...

SThree: Trainee Recruitment Consultant

£20000 - £25000 per annum + OTE £40,000: SThree: SThree have recently been awa...

Recruitment Genius: Assistant Property Manager

£18000 - £20000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: The largest private landlord ba...

Day In a Page

Syrian conflict is the world's first 'climate change war', say scientists, but it won't be the last one

Climate change key in Syrian conflict

And it will trigger more war in future
How I outwitted the Gestapo

How I outwitted the Gestapo

My life as a Jew in wartime Berlin
The nation's favourite animal revealed

The nation's favourite animal revealed

Women like cuddly creatures whilst men like creepy-crawlies
Is this the way to get young people to vote?

Getting young people to vote

From #VOTESELFISH to Bite the Ballot
Poldark star Heida Reed: 'I don't think a single bodice gets ripped'

Poldark star Heida Reed

'I don't think a single bodice gets ripped'
The difference between America and Israel? There isn’t one

The difference between America and Israel? There isn’t one

Netanyahu knows he can get away with anything in America, says Robert Fisk
Families clubbing together to build their own affordable accommodation

Do It Yourself approach to securing a new house

Community land trusts marking a new trend for taking the initiative away from developers
Head of WWF UK: We didn’t send Cameron to the Arctic to see green ideas freeze

David Nussbaum: We didn’t send Cameron to the Arctic to see green ideas freeze

The head of WWF UK remains sanguine despite the Government’s failure to live up to its pledges on the environment
Author Kazuo Ishiguro on being inspired by shoot-outs and samurai

Author Kazuo Ishiguro on being inspired by shoot-outs and samurai

Set in a mythologised 5th-century Britain, ‘The Buried Giant’ is a strange beast
With money, corruption and drugs, this monk fears Buddhism in Thailand is a ‘poisoned fruit’

Money, corruption and drugs

The monk who fears Buddhism in Thailand is a ‘poisoned fruit’
America's first slavery museum established at Django Unchained plantation - 150 years after slavery outlawed

150 years after it was outlawed...

... America's first slavery museum is established in Louisiana
Kelly Clarkson: How I snubbed Simon Cowell and become a Grammy-winning superstar

Kelly Clarkson: How I snubbed Simon Cowell and become a Grammy-winning superstar

The first 'American Idol' winner on how she manages to remain her own woman – Jane Austen fascination and all
Tony Oursler on exploring our uneasy relationship with technology with his new show

You won't believe your eyes

Tony Oursler's new show explores our uneasy relationship with technology. He's one of a growing number of artists with that preoccupation
Ian Herbert: Peter Moores must go. He should never have been brought back to fail again

Moores must go. He should never have been brought back to fail again

The England coach leaves players to find solutions - which makes you wonder where he adds value, says Ian Herbert
War with Isis: Fears that the looming battle for Mosul will unleash 'a million refugees'

The battle for Mosul will unleash 'a million refugees'

Aid agencies prepare for vast exodus following planned Iraqi offensive against the Isis-held city, reports Patrick Cockburn