Football: Parkes may stay for full season

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The Independent Online
Sven-Goran Eriksson has agreed to join Blackburn Rovers as their new manager - but he cannot say when. The Swedish coach will accept a contract worth close to pounds 1m a year in wages and bonuses from Jack Walker's ambitious club.

However, Eriksson is staying with Sampdoria until the Italian club have found a successor - they may keep him to his contract for the rest of the season.

Eriksson wants the Blackburn job badly and visited the club in secret last week for the first time, when he also found out how much they were willing to pay. Blackburn want a commitment from Eriksson in case he is tempted by a rival club, with Lazio and Borussia Monchengladbach among his admirers.

Sources close to Eriksson claimed last night that he has said he will come as soon as possible, but Sampdoria want to dictate the timing of his departure. Eriksson refused to comment on Italian press reports that he has already handed in his notice, but it is now only a matter of when rather than if he comes to Blackburn. Rovers are happy with that situation at the moment, as caretaker manager Tony Parkes is steering the side out of relegation trouble and they would settle for that fate in a troubled season.

The Tottenham striker Chris Armstrong faces an operation on Monday after being told his damaged ankle has not responded to treatment. He lasted only the first half against Liverpool in his last appearance eight days ago, and now the problem has been identified as tendinitis. However, there was better news for Spurs last night when John Scales, their new recruit from Liverpool, played 45 minutes of a reserve-team win over Swansea at St Albans. After proving his recovery from a groin strain, Scales is likely to play at Leeds on Saturday.

Kevin Keegan, the Newcastle manager, is to tell David Ginola that he must abandon plans for a second career as a racing driver. The Frenchman has revealed he is interested in racing a Renault Laguna touring car in the British Touring Car Championship. "As long as he's got a contract with this club he won't be driving racing cars," Keegan said. "He's already been refused permission and he'll be refused permission again."

Emerson, Middlesbrough's wayward Brazilian, may face Liverpool at Anfield this Saturday despite a lack of match practice since returning from his latest trip to Brazil. Bryan Robson, the Middlesbrough manager, decided against playing Emerson in last night's reserve match at Huddersfield.

The Sunderland manager, Peter Reid, is trying to call off the purchase of the Israeli striker Ronen Harazi. The Roker Park club discovered that Harazi has a broken foot when he had a medical test as part of his pounds 500,000 move from Beitar Jerusalem.

Rangers are believed to have agreed a pounds 4m fee for the Chilean striker Sebastian Rozental. Manuel Velez, the president of Rozental's club, Universidad Catolica, said yesterday that Rangers have met his club's asking price, which is believed to be about pounds 4m.

The Northern Ireland manager, Bryan Hamilton, is hoping that the Newcastle winger Keith Gillespie will be fit to play in Saturday's World Cup qualifier against Albania at Windsor Park on Saturday. Gillespie suffered a groin injury in Newcastle's goalless draw at Nottingham Forest on Monday, and the Blackpool forward James Quinn has been called in to the squad as cover.

Two of Albania's players will miss the game in Northern Ireland - because they are stranded in Greece due to farmer's protests which have paralysed the transport network. Artan Xhumba and Arian Bellai, who both play for the Greek team Kalamata, were unable to get to Athens to pick up British visas because of road blockades.

Brighton's new manager, Scottish football, page 28