Football: Sutton price set to drop

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The Independent Online
BLACKBURN ROVERS are ready to cut the asking price on Chris Sutton to hurry through a sale - and, most likely, spark an offer from Chelsea for the services of the unsettled striker.

Rovers discovered that no one was willing to offer the initial asking price of pounds 12m for Sutton and the decision to look for around pounds 9m has been taken after crisis talks. The Blackburn manager, Brian Kidd, met owner Jack Walker in Jersey to discuss Sutton's future, among other issues, and the manager feels he needs to make progress in the transfer market.

Chelsea officials have already discussed terms with Sutton's advisors. They would rather pay pounds 7.5m, but could go higher to compromise. Tottenham, Aston Villa and Manchester United are also watching developments.

Egil Olsen on Wednesday formally agreed to become manager of Wimbledon. The Oslo side Valerenga, where Olsen is currently coach, agreed to free him from 9 July. "All sides are happy with the agreement and Egil Olsen will be the first Norwegian manager in the English Premier League," Wimbledon, Valerenga and Olsen said in a joint statement.

Olsen, who led Norway to the World Cup finals in 1994 and 1998, takes over at Wimbledon from Joe Kinnear, who suffered a heart attack in March and apparently wants to move to a bigger club.

Leicester City are making a record pounds 3m bid to sign the Ipswich Town goalkeeper Richard Wright. The Leicester manager, Martin O'Neill, wants the England squad player to replace Kasey Keller.

Police said yesterday that they would investigate claims by the Arsenal midfielder Emmanuel Petit that top players are taking drugs - provided he were to make an official complaint. The Frenchman claimed on Tuesday that he knows of players using banned substances to help meet the growing physical demands on today's professionals.

"We always encourage people to give details of crimes," a Metropolitan Police spokesman said. "If Emmanuel Petit came to the Met and said: `I have evidence of this person doing X,Y or Z, then there would have been an allegation made and it would be investigated."

Chris Kamara is having talks with Bristol City about becoming their new manager. The former Bradford City and Stoke manager met Ashton Gate officials to discuss joining a new-look set-up to work beside the club's director of football, Benny Lennartsson.

Kamara would prefer to have complete control of team selection, and there may have to be further discussions to work out job descriptions.