Football: Mandaric's toll mounts at Portsmouth

MILAN MANDARIC, Portsmouth's multi-millionaire chairman, has sacked the club's assistant manager, Kevin Bond, and reserve-team coach, Ted MacDougall. Bond, 42, was assistant to Alan Ball, who lost his job last week after less than two years in charge at Fratton Park, following a sequence of one win in 11 matches.

David Deacon, Pompey's managing director, said: "We are clearing the way for a new manager. We have begun interviewing for a replacement for Alan Ball. We feel that for the club to succeed a new manager should be allowed to bring in his own men."

Gary Megson, who left Stoke City recently, remains the favourite to take over, but the former Huddersfield manager Peter Jackson has also joined the Portsmouth shortlist.

Aston Villa's Italian striker Benito Carbone has asked the club's manager, John Gregory, if he can take over as captain for Saturday's Premiership match against his former club, Sheffield Wednesday. However, Gregory has no plans to relieve Gareth Southgate of the captain's duties.

"He has already asked me for the captain's armband," Gregory said. "Apparently it is an Italian tradition that when a player plays against his old club he is normally made the captain. But he is in England now, not Italy."

Aston Villa's unsettled striker Stan Collymore is wanted on loan by Hearts. The pounds 7m signing has not played for Villa since returning from a loan spell at Fulham.

Adrian Heath, who resigned as Sheffield United manager last month, has rejoined Sunderland as a coach. He left in the summer to take over at Bramall Lane. Sunderland are poised to complete the pounds 2.5m purchase of the West Bromwich winger Kevin Kilbane.

Everton have agreed to sell the midfielder Gareth Farrelly to Bolton for pounds 500,000.

The Brazilian international defender Rafael Felipe Scheidt is expected in Glasgow this evening for talks about a projected pounds 5m move to Celtic. The 23-year-old Gremio Porto Alegre centre-back has still to agree personal terms.

Rangers are set to sign the Turkish international Tugay Kerimoglu. The 29-year-old Galatasaray midfielder is out of contract at the end of the season, when he is expected to move from Istanbul to Glasgow for a nominal fee.

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