Football: Saints try to move in for Vialli

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The Independent Online
Gianluca Vialli, Chelsea's unsettled Italian striker, is having talks with the Southampton manager, Graeme Souness.

The Italian international yesterday had a working breakfast with Souness at the Grand Harbour Hotel, on Southampton's waterfront. The two are believed to have discussed details of a possible move to The Dell for the 32-year- old Vialli, who has fallen out of favour at Stamford Bridge and has criticised the Chelsea manager, Ruud Gullit, for leaving him out of the first team.

Chelsea have consistently rebuffed speculation that they wish to sell Vialli, but the Saints have not denied their interest. Southampton claim that Souness is on holiday and is "uncontactable" while their director of football, Lawrie McMenemy, said: "You had better ask the manager."

Souness and Vialli are old friends from the manager's spell as a player at Sampdoria, where the Italian used to clean his boots. Previously Souness has said of Vialli: "He has kept himself in good shape and lived right - he is a fine player and will do well wherever he plays."

Rangers are expected to sign Sweden's captain, Jonas Thern, from Roma in the summer - with the player set to earn a staggering pounds 835,000 a year.

The Scottish champions look favourites to sign the 29-year-old midfielder after he admitted that it would be hard to refuse the offer he has received from the Glasgow club. The Rangers chairman, David Murray, is reported to have offered Thern a minimum two-year, maximum three-year, contract.

Thern revealed that three other contracts he has been offered - from Benfica, Napoli and Roma - would have to be combined to match what Rangers have put up. His international team-mate, Joachim Bjorklund, is already at Ibrox.

Thern will leave Roma on a free transfer at the end of the season even though Napoli, Fiorentina and Parma have all shown an interest in him. The Swede has also attracted attention from three clubs in his home country - Malmo, Helsingborg and IFK Gothenburg.

Alphonse Tchami, a 25-year-old striker who played for Cameroon at the 1994 World Cup in the United States, has joined Sunderland on trial from Boca Juniors, of Argentina, with a view to a pounds 1.4m transfer.

The Bayern Munich president, Franz Beckenbauer, has fuelled speculation that he is to quit his post to become Germany's first Sports Minister. "I have no passion for what I am doing here," the 51-year-old former World Cup winner said. "It is high time the sport had its own ministry."

The Lincoln City midfielder, Terry Fleming, has been charged with misconduct by the Football Association after allegedly giving a false name (that of team-mate Tony Dennis) to avoid being sent off. The 24-year-old was booked twice in seven minutes during the first half of their Third Division game against Wigan nine days ago.