Football: Reluctant Laudrup is sent packing to Ajax

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CHELSEA HAVE finally rid themselves of Brian Laudrup by selling the former Rangers winger to Ajax for an undisclosed fee, believed to be around pounds 2m.

The west Londoners held Laudrup's registration following the end of his spell with FC Copenhagen and, since he maintained that he did not want to play for Chelsea again, the club have off-loaded the Dane to the Dutch club.

Crystal Palace are threatening legal action against the Football League if they are expelled for failing to find a solution for their financial problems. Although the First Division club have been approached by a consortium interested in buying them with the backing of an Asian bank, the League's board has told Palace they must have a restructuring plan by 31 July.

Over the weekend, chairmen from the League's clubs backed the board's stance at their annual summer conference, and if the pounds 10m rescue package falls through Palace will not be allowed to start the 1999-2000 season.

However, the club's administrators, Moores Stephens, says it will take legal action to block the expulsion. "If you had a situation where you had a rescue plan but all you needed was more time, then of course you would fight it," the administrator Simon Paterson said. "If you're asking where the money would come from for a legal challenge, it would come from selling players."

The Huddersfield manager Steve Bruce has signed the Tranmere midfielder Kenny Irons for pounds 500,000. Irons has signed a four-year contract and will finalise the deal today on completion of a medical.

The new Wimbledon manager, Egil Olsen, is set to make the Valerenga defender Fredrik Kjoelner his first signing in a pounds 250,000 deal. Reports from Norway claim the 29-year-old central defender has completed the move to Selhurst Park to join his former manager.

The Celtic director of football, Kenny Dalglish, has ruled out an offer for his former striker at Blackburn and Newcastle, Alan Shearer. "I won't be coming back for Shearer. In fact I have no plans to make a move for any Newcastle player," Dalglish said.

Celtic have also been linked with the Bulgarian international duo Milen Petkov and Stilian Petrov. The CSKA Sofia pair are expected to secure deals in the near future to become Dalglish's first signings

Torino have made an offer for Derby's transfer-listed striker, Paulo Wanchope. However, the Rams manager, Jim Smith, is unhappy with the Serie A newcomers' proposition because they are offering a player in part-exchange. Smith is looking for offers of around pounds 5m for the 22-year-old Costa Rican international.

The Scottish Football Association and the Premier League will both hold inquiries into the violent confrontations during the match between Celtic and Rangers in May. The SPL will consider incidents involving spectators, while the SFA will focus on those involving players.

Aberdeen have signed the Brondby goalkeeper Emeka Andersen for pounds 200,000.