Football: Lazio raise stakes for Anelka offer

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The Independent Online
AS THE Nicolas Anelka saga drags on, Lazio's latest manoeuvre is to try to tempt Arsenal to sell their disgruntled striker by throwing in a star name as well as the pounds 20m fee under discussion.

A Lazio delegation was in London on Monday, but negotiations for the French international ended in stalemate. The Serie A runners-up tabled a pounds 20m bid but, according to reports in Italy, Arsenal's vice-chairman David Dein told Lazio he wants pounds 4m more.

Instead, Lazio's president Sergio Cragnotti suggested several players as make-weights in the deal. Among the names mentioned were Fernando Couto, Alen Boksic, Pavel Nedved and Kennet Andersson, but the one player who interested the Gunners, the striker Marcelo Salas, was not for sale, the Romans said. Three other Italian clubs have been linked with the Frenchman - Juventus, Parma and now Milan.

Cragnotti, who was scheduled to make the trip to London but decided at the last minute to send his sons Massimo and Andrea instead, is cautiously optimistic.

"There has been some interference, but it's not Parma," he said. "We'll just have to be patient. We're not giving up Anelka. The agreement with Arsenal hasn't been reached yet, but we know the English well. They are shrewd businessmen. We're taking a pause, and waiting for the definitive `yes' or `no'."

Kevin Campbell will remain a Trabzonspor player - unless he apologises to the man who described him as a "discoloured cannibal".

If the striker wants to move to Everton, he will have to clear the air and forgive Trabzonspor president Mehmet Ali Yilmaz for his remarks, which the Turk claims were wrongly translated.

The Trabzonspor official sent a middle man to Everton to explain that he was misquoted, and that he wants Campbell to make a public statement accepting his version of events. Campbell is considering his next move but may do what Ali Yilmaz wants if he is assured that Everton's pounds 3m bid will be accepted.

The striker has had the remarks translated before and is sure that Yilmaz called him a "cannibal", but he may be in the mood for charity towards his employer. Campbell is currently training on his own while the clubs dispute the fee.

Liverpool recruited another unsung foreign import yesterday when they signed Bayer Leverkusen's reserve goalkeeper, Dirk Heinen. The 28-year- old said he was leaving Leverkusen because he was unhappy at being second choice behind Adam Matysek.

Leverkusen had agreed he could leave once they found a suitable replacement for him, Heinen said. The fee is around pounds 400,000. Last month, Liverpool signed the Dutch keeper Sander Westerveld from Vitesse Arnhem for pounds 4m.

One player leaving Liverpool is Sean Dundee, who is set to join VfB Stuttgart. The South African-born striker moved to Anfield from Karlsruhe but never managed to gain a regular place in the first-team squad.

West Ham's midfielder Eyal Berkovic has announced that he might shortly become a Celtic player. The Israel international has been at the top of John Barnes' shopping list since the new coach arrived at Parkhead last month.

"There is a mutual agreement between myself and West Ham that I won't return to the club," he said. "I'm very happy about that and I'm hopeful that I will soon be a Celtic player."

Scotland's former captain Colin Hendry called a press conference yesterday to complain at being turned into a Rangers outcast. The 33-year-old central defender, who cost the Ibrox side pounds 4m from Blackburn less than a year ago, said that coach Dick Advocaat has told him he will be no more than a squad player next season.

"I do not think I have done anything wrong to find myself in this position," Hendry said. "I had a few injuries last season but I still managed 32 appearances. I was suspended for some others and missed some more through ineligibility, so in all I might have played 40 matches.

"I don't think that was too bad a return in a year where we won the treble. But the decision has been made and I have to get on with it."

Dennis Wise has added to the mood of optimism at Chelsea, which was bolstered by the capture of Chris Sutton on Monday, by signing a new two-year contract.

Clark for Fulham,

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