Football: Kidd top of Rovers' targets as manager

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BLACKBURN ROVERS have put Brian Kidd at the top of their managerial wanted list - but face a battle to drag him away from Manchester United.

Rovers' owner, Jack Walker, is ready to offer Kidd pounds 750,000 a year to tempt him to leave his post as Alex Ferguson's assistant. An official approach to United is expected this week.

Internazionale have sacked their coach Gigi Simoni, who is likely to be replaced by the Romanian Mircea Lucescu, coach at Rapid Bucharest. Simoni had been under pressure following Inter's erratic start to the season which had seen them slip to seventh place in Serie A following defeats by Lazio, Juventus, Bari and Fiorentina.

The 18-year-old Lyons midfielder Steed Malbranque has turned down a pounds 2m move to Arsenal, saying he wants to stay in France. Better news for the club was Tony Adams' announcement yesterday that he will not, after all, need back surgery. He hopes to resume light training in January.

Robbie Fowler will stick by his pounds 50,000-a-week pay demand. Talks between the Liverpool striker and his club have reopened, and the Liverpool manager, Gerard Houllier, met Fowler's adviser yesterday.

Portsmouth have asked the Professional Footballers' Association to help them pay their players' wages for last month. The financially troubled club were given a loan of around pounds 150,000 by the PFA to meet the monthly wage bill as debts begin to mount at Fratton Park. Pompey have been left short of money after chairman Martin Gregory was ordered by the High Court to pay an outstanding bill owed to the builders of their 4,500-seater KJC Stand.

The 2002 World Cup finals could be brought forward to May and June to avoid the mid-summer rainy season in Japan and South Korea, the Fifa president, Sepp Blatter, said yesterday. Football's world governing body is worried that the traditional June-July timing for the finals coincides with north-east Asia's wet season.