Football: Maradona move

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The Independent Online
DIEGO MARADONA may be on his way back to Europe - but not to Napoli. The former Argentine captain, who has just completed a 15-month suspension for drug abuse, is close to signing for Seville.

Maradona, who spent three seasons in Spain at Barcelona after the 1982 World Cup, is still under contract to Napoli but Seville hope that two companies, Fujitsu of Japan and Italy's Finivest, will provide the millions to release him. Maradona's personal terms, a two-year, pounds 3m deal, have been agreed between his agent, Marcos Franchi, and the Seville president Luis Cuervas.

Seville, who have not won the Spanish title since 1946, are coached by Carlos Bilardo, a friend of Maradona's as well as his former manager at international level.

Two Manchester City defenders, Steve Redmond and Neil Pointon, have left City's pre-season tour of Italy to discuss terms with Oldham Athletic. Peter Reid, the City player-manager, and his Oldham counterpart, Joe Royle, have agreed to a deal which will take Redmond, the 24-year-old centre-half, and Pointon, the former Everton full-back, to Boundary Park with the Oldham winger, Rick Holden, and pounds 300,000 going to Maine Road.

The recession continues to eat into clubs' budgets. Orient directors who have loaned the club money have told Frank Clark, the managing director, they now want to be repaid 'in the near future' so they can support their own business interests.

Football League clubs meet at Walsall on Thursday to discuss the pounds 25m four-year ITV deal which has provoked regional rifts over differing payments.

The League chairmen are expected to give president Gordon McKeag and Lee Walker, the League's Controller of Broadcasting, permission to invite ITV back round the table to try to resolve the issue.

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