Football: Olsen linked with Dons

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The Independent Online
EGIL OLSEN, the former coach of Norway, is being linked with a move to English football as the successor to Joe Kinnear as Wimbledon manager.

Olsen is currently in charge of the Oslo club, Valerenga, who said yesterday that the Dons had made contact with them. Contrary to reports in Norway that he had already left Valerenga, they insisted that he will be staying team until a successor is found.

Olsen has been linked with Wimbledon before. Two multi-millionaire Norwegian businessmen, Kjell Inge Rokke and Bjorn Rune Gjelsten, paid around pounds 19m for an 80 per-cent stake in the club in June 1997 - and reports then suggested that Olsen might be following them to south London.

Kinnear suffered a heart attack before Wimbledon's match at Sheffield Wednesday on 3 March and missed the club's last 11 games of the season. However, according to the Dons co-owner Sam Hammam, Kinnear is not standing down due to ill health.

"Joe has made a 100 per cent recovery," Hammam said. "He is certainly in much better nick than he was when he had his attack. A week ago, we had a meeting to discuss how the club should progress. It was at that time that Joe indicated to me that he would like to move to a very big club.

"I must stress that there is no such club in for him. It is just something that he would like to do. Joe, being the gentleman that he is, is giving us time to find a replacement."

Olsen, 57, took his team of part-timers to the Cup-Winners' Cup quarter- finals this season, where they were beaten by Chelsea. He also guided the Norwegian national team to two successive World Cup finals in 1994 and 1998.

Coventry City are poised to sign the Moroccan international Youssef Chippo from the Portuguese champions, Porto. The 25-year-old midfielder has agreed personal terms and will undergo a medical at Highfield Road next week. He has won over 30 international caps and played in all three of Morocco's games during the 1998 World Cup in France.

Aston Villa centre-back Ugo Ehiogu's chances of a move have been hit by a sell-on clause - which would mean 50 per cent of any transfer fee being passed on to his former club, West Bromwich Albion.

Villa only paid the Baggies pounds 40,000 for Ehiogu eight years ago - with the proviso that Albion would receive half of any subsequent transfer fee. Villa have been aware of this potential stumbling block for some time and three years ago Albion rejected a pounds 250,000 payment aimed at buying out the clause.

Tottenham Hotspur, Leeds, Liverpool and West Ham have all been linked with Ehiogu but because of the sell-on clause Villa are in no hurry to part with him. "I have no intention of selling Ugo," their manager, John Gregory, said. "He is under contract for another three years and that is the end of the matter."

Watford are reported to be ready to sign Southampton's Dutch defender, Ken Monkou, on a free transfer under the Bosman ruling. The 34-year-old is out of contract at The Dell and is disappointed at only being offered a one-year deal by the Saints.

The former Leeds United striker Jamie Forrester, who was Scunthorpe United's leading scorer last season, has quit the Third Division play-off final winners to join the Dutch club Utrecht on a free transfer, also under the Bosman ruling.

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