Football: Ronaldo signs up for Inter

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The Independent Online
The Brazilian striker Ronaldo signed a five-year contract with the Italian club Internazionale last night, his agent Alexandre Martins and the club's technical director, Luis Suarez, said.

"Today we signed a contract with Ronaldo. He will present himself to the club on 1 July for a medical and then he will go on holiday," Martins said. He added that the financial details of the deal would be announced by the club next month.

Ronaldo said at the Brazil's Copa America base in Bolivia: "I am very happy. This is a problem that has been affecting the national team and now it is out of the way."

Ronaldo's lawyer said earlier yesterday that he had paid the four billion pesetas (pounds 17m) necessary to release the Brazilian striker from his contract with Barcelona. Although the payment technically makes Ronaldo a free agent, a circular from Uefa, European football's governing body, has decreed that only Spanish clubs are allowed to sign him without negotiating with Barcelona - so the tug-of-war between Inter and Barcelona is by no means over.

Barcelona's coach, Bobby Robson, has turned his back on a job at Everton and will stay at the Spanish club until the end of next season. The former England manager had been approached by the Merseyside club but will honour his contract in Spain, despite the Ajax coach, Louis van Gaal, joining Barcelona. Robson, who has also been linked with the vacant manager's job at Celtic, has 12 months of his two-year contract to run.

Robson's decision clears the way for Andy Gray to become Everton's new manager. The 41-year-old Scot met the Goodison Park chairman, Peter Johnson, on Tuesday and laid down his demands for total control of team affairs before flying out to Spain for a holiday.

Gray, a former Everton striker, seems certain to get his wish, with Howard Kendall unlikely to quit Sheffield United for anything other than a return to the top job at Goodison. "I don't really want to comment on the situation at Everton at the moment," Gray said. "There is still a lot of talking to be done with one or two people."

Paul Ince seems certain to leave Internazionale after the Italian club's president, Massimo Moratti, launched a bitter attack on the England midfielder, accusing him of lacking courage. "Paul Ince always tells me he wants to stay in Italy with us," Moratti said. "But then he goes home to his wife and does not have the courage to say the same to her."

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