Football: Robson stays at Barcelona

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The Independent Online
Bobby Robson will remain at Barcelona next season - which will disappoint Celtic, who had hoped to name him as their new head coach this week.

The former England manager is staying in Spain despite yesterday's confirmation of Louis van Gaal as the new coach of Barcelona. Robson, who still has a year left on his two-year contract, will stay on to supervise new signings in a new coaching set-up at the Nou Camp club.

"I've asked Barcelona to use a new structure," said Van Gaal, the former Ajax coach, who will work alongside Robson in the new system. A third, as yet unnamed, coach, will manage the extensive junior team network and make joint decisions in what Van Gaal described as "a kind of triumvirate".

The Dutchman added: "For the media the short term is important - but for me the long term is important."

Robson said: "I can tell you that Louis van Gaal will get 100 per cent support, loyalty, and honesty and, if there is anything I can do to make his job easier, then he can rely on me."

Van Gaal added he would like to keep Ronaldo, the top Brazilian striker who is wanted by Internazionale of Italy. "I'd like to continue with Ronaldo," Van Gaal said. "If he goes, I'll have to find somebody who fits into the team."

Fifa will decide whether Ronaldo is free to move from Spain to Inter. The sport's world governing body has received an official request from the Italian club to investigate the proposed transfer, and now its players' status committee will have to decide if the 20-year-old is free to move to Inter after paying over pounds 17m to free himself from his Barcelona contract.

Fifa rules state that a player cannot buy out his contract for the purposes of obtaining an international transfer, and the Spanish Football Federation has refused to issue a transfer certificate as the deal has not been negotiated by the two clubs.

Despite reports linking him to a coaching role at Sheffield United, Chris Waddle is eager to secure the managerial post at Burnley vacated by the departure of Adrian Heath to Everton as assistant manager. Since being freed by Sunderland, the former England international has had talks about playing deals with Bradford City and Barnsley, while Stockport have short-listed him for their managerial vacancy.

Burnley have also made an approach to the former Everton manager Joe Royle, but he is not yet ready to return to management.

West Ham are poised to sign the Hungarian international goalkeeper, Szabolcs Safar, from the Budapest club, Vasas.