Football: Vialli's vengeance to fire Chelsea

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The Independent Online
Far from accepting that his international career is over, Gianluca Vialli intends to put Italy's coach, Arrigo Sacchi, "in trouble" by scoring as many goals as possible for Chelsea.

Vialli, giving his first English press conference since he became Ruud Gullit's first signing last month, was in no mood to forgive and forget after Sacchi controversially omitted the 31-year-old from his Euro 96 squad.

"It will be difficult for me to get back into the national side with Sacchi as manager," he said. "But I hope to score as many goals as possible for Chelsea and that will put Sacchi in trouble."

Vialli, who had agreed to sign for Chelsea hours after lifting the European Cup with Juventus, added: "Ruud is a good friend of mine. And with the prospects of a new challenge and playing in London, Chelsea was the choice for me."

Gullit, who yesterday agreed a two-year contract as player-manager of the London club with a two-year option, said: "I have a number of players on my list and the signing of Vialli sends a signal to those players that Chelsea are the team to play for."

Gullit confirmed Dennis Wise would remain as captain. Elsewhere, however, there are plenty of changes at the club. Graham Rix, the youth coach, as expected, is to join former Chelsea manager, Glenn Hoddle, in the England coaching set-up as under-21 manager in succession to Dave Sexton, while Peter Shreeve, the assistant manager, is to join forces with the man who once took his job at Tottenham - David Pleat - as Sheffield Wednesday's first-team coach.

Coventry may have pipped Arsenal to the signature of the much sought after Charlton midfielder, Lee Bowyer, the two clubs agreeing a pounds 2.5m fee that would take Ron Atkinson's outlay at Highfield Road to pounds 16.5m. Bowyer will have talks with Coventry today.

Another Midlands club, Wolves, expect to sign Stale Solbakken, a Norwegian international midfielder, for pounds 800,000 from Lillestrom.

Liverpool's Michael Thomas will fly to Italy today to decide his future - whether to sign for Reggiana or Perugia in Serie A, while Everton's Gary Ablett, has joined Birmingham for pounds 400,000.

Bradford have signed the Dutch striker Erik Regtop from Heerenveen on a three-year contract.

With the new season two months away, George Graham, the former Arsenal manager, has declined the chance to return to the game at Southampton. Double winners Man- chester United will start the new season away to Wimbledon on 17 August, and then face two successive northern derbies, at home to Everton the following Wednesday and away to 1995 champions Blackburn three days later. Promoted Derby begin their campaign at home to last season's strugglers Leeds.

Mexico won the US Cup after drawing 2-2 with the United States before a 92,000 crowd in Pasadena, California, on Sunday. And then later the same day their keeper, the extrovert Jorge Campos, played for Los Angeles Galaxy in their 3-2 shoot-out win over Tampa Bay Mutiny, finishing the match as a striker.

Diego Maradona was one of three Boca Juniors players sent off as his team were routed 5-1 by Velez Sarsfield.

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