Football: Platt set for Saints job

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The Independent Online
The Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger yesterday paved the way for David Platt to take over as the new manager of Southampton. The Saints chairman, Rupert Lowe, has reportedly held talks with the former England international about a move to The Dell, with a five-year pounds 1.5m deal said to be on the table.

Platt's future at Highbury looks bleak following Wenger's acquisition of five new players. Providing Southampton pay the pounds 2m required to buy out the two years left on the 31-year-old's contract, Wenger has no problem in letting him go.

"Only he knows what he wants to do. It's up to David to decide where he wants to go," Wenger said: "But I will have a chat with him and see what he wants to do. If he is happy somewhere else, then, yes, we will consider any offer for him."

As Platt considers leaving, one of the Gunners' old stalwarts is on his way back. Don Howe is stepping down as the Football Association's technical co-ordinator to rejoin the club. The 59-year-old former Arsenal manager and full-back, who also coached them to the League and FA Cup double under Bertie Mee in 1971, is to become the head youth coach at Highbury, working with the head of youth development, Liam Brady.

Bobby Robson's No 2 at Barcelona has confirmed that the former England manager is leaving the Spanish club, who seem certain to replace him with the Ajax coach, Louis van Gaal. Jose Mourinho, who arrived with Robson from Porto, said: "Like Bobby, I will be leaving Barcelona on 30 June. I'm of the same opinion as Robson that if Van Gaal doesn't win the league in his first year, he'll meet the same fate. We are leaving because, despite Barcelona winning the Spanish Super Cup, the Cup-Winners' Cup and getting a place in the European Champions' League and in the Spanish Cup final, we did not win the League title. What's happened here is incredible."

Leeds United have completed the signing of the Portuguese Under-21 international midfielder Bruno Ribeiro from Vitoria Setubal for pounds 500,000. The Dutch international striker Bryan Roy looks set to leave Nottingham Forest for the German Bundesliga newcomers, Hertha Berlin, although a transfer figure has not yet been agreed.

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