Football: Rangers poised to pounce for Jansen

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The Independent Online
RANGERS ARE planning to make an offer for Blackburn's England Under-21 striker, Matt Jansen. The Scottish champions will offer cash or a swap deal involving the Scotland captain, Colin Hendry, once Rovers have appointed a new manager.

Jansen, who has been out of favour at Blackburn since Brian Kidd left, only moved to Ewood Park from Crystal Palace earlier this year but he could now be made available. Rangers will try to tempt Blackburn with centre-half Hendry, whose move to Derby fell through last week. He was a surprise spectator at Blackburn's game on Saturday and could return to Ewood Park.

The Leicester City chief executive, Barrie Pierpoint, does not believe the club's boardroom power struggle will drive out the club's manager, Martin O'Neill.

Pierpoint and his allies, who have been referred to as The Gang of Four, are at loggerheads over control of the Premiership club with the plc chairman, Sir Rodney Walker, and the football club chairman, John Elsom. O'Neill is dismayed by the wrangling and many Foxes fans fear the row may persuade the Ulsterman to leave. However, Pierpoint does not believe this will happen.

"I would imagine one day, Martin O'Neill, if he were offered a position at another club might decide to leave anyway," Pierpoint said. "So I don't know necessarily if this would make him leave or whether opportunities at a bigger club may make him leave.

"We don't want to push him towards the edge. I'm sorry that it's gone this far, but we aren't the ones causing the problems. We're the ones trying to run the business properly and professionally."

Ian Rush scored the winning goal yesterday when he joined Sydney Olympic for the first of two Australian league guest appearances. The 38-year- old striker proved the difference in a 2-1 win over Olympic's local rivals, Marconi, when he scored from close range.

"I noticed the keeper staying on the line and instinctively slipped the ball past him," Rush said. "I don't score spectacular goals." The Welshman will play his second game, against Adelaide, next week.