Football: Sporting want to hire Hoddle

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The Independent Online
GLENN HODDLE is prepared to meet Sporting Lisbon officials about the Portuguese club's coaching vacancy. Sporting's president, Jose Roquette, is ready to offer the former England coach a two-year contract worth pounds 600,000, as well as a pounds 20m transfer kitty.

However, Hoddle's agent, Dennis Roach, said he has had no personal contact with Roquette - only through a third party - but is willing to listen to a direct proposal by the club.

"We had an agent make an approach asking whether we would be interested in going," Roach said. "My response was that: `It's a big club and when a big European club comes in then you've got to talk to them'.

"There has been no direct contact with the club, though. I certainly haven't been to Lisbon, as has been reported. But the ball is in Sporting's court. If Lisbon want to talk to us about it, then we will certainly talk to them."

Hoddle has been out of work since he was sacked as England coach a few months ago for his remarks about disabled people. Sporting, however, are willing to offer the 41-year-old former Chelsea and Swindon manager a way back into the game.

"He is a man with the experience we want," Roquette said. "We want to bring in a good manager whose teams play the football that we want. We have a long running association with British managers and we would like to bring him here."

Hoddle's successor, Kevin Keegan, spoke positively about Paul Gascoigne's England prospects at the weekend, and yesterday the player himself said he was keen to capitalise. In a statement, Gascoigne revealed his annoyance over tabloid photographs of him drinking and smoking on holiday in Portugal .

"I was disappointed by the photos in the papers because I am on my holidays like anybody else," he said. "But I am going to come back and make next season my best ever.

"Everybody's ambition is to play for the national side, and I am no different."