Hammers 'to sell Di Canio and Ferdinand'

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The Independent Online

West Ham supporters can prepare to say goodbye to one of their favourite players and Rio Ferdinand. The Hammers are ready to sell the captain, Paolo Di Canio, and plan to collect £15m for Rio Ferdinand once the club is clear of the relegation zone.

West Ham supporters can prepare to say goodbye to one of their favourite players and Rio Ferdinand. The Hammers are ready to sell the captain, Paolo Di Canio, and plan to collect £15m for Rio Ferdinand once the club is clear of the relegation zone.

Di Canio's form, although not his popularity with the fans, has dipped in the past few weeks and he has also fallen out with team-mates. West Ham's manager, Harry Redknapp, has had an offer for him, while Hammers are sitting on a £15m offer from Leeds.

The Di Canio move was revealed by Kjell Madland, the president of the Norwegian club Bryne, who was negotiating the sale of the Norwegian centreback, Ragnvald Soma, to the Hammers for £1m last weekend. However, he said the Soma signing was delayed until Redknapp had sold Di Canio, with Manchester City and his former club Celtic in the chase. City could offer £3.5m but the Italian wants to return to Celtic.

Madland said: "Chairman Terry Brown has put his foot down and told Redknapp there will be no signings until he has sold off players. West Ham have received a bid for Rio Ferdinand which will give them money to buy Soma and Viking Stavanger's Hannu Tihinen. But they want to secure enough points in the Premiership before they will let the defender go.

"West Ham are also talking about selling their captain Di Canio. As far as I know Redknapp thought he had sold him last weekend. But that fell through and that is why they pulled out of the Soma deal. But they have told me they are still interested once they have money."

Leeds United are poised to sign two Norwegian Under-21 internationals, Thorstein Helstad and Azar Karadas, from Brann Bergen in a £4m deal. Leeds' manager, David O'Leary, has been pursuing Helstad, a striker, for months while Karadas, who comes from a Turkish family, is due at Elland Road to complete talks. Karadas can play at centreback or as a target man.

O'Leary has been moaning about the lack of resources at the club, and he named only four substitutes on the bench for the 4-3 victory Liverpool on Saturday morning.

Bradford City, who dismissed Chris Hutchings as manager on Monday because of the club's poor start to the season, want Roy Evans, the former Liverpool manager, to help Stuart McCall, the club's new player-caretaker manager. Evans will be invited to become McCall's assistant on a temporary basis.

Evans has been out of work since being squeezed out of Liverpool by the arrival of Gérard Houllier. He had been the manager and then became joint-manager with Houllier, an arrangement that proved short-lived. Evans has the experience that Bradford want at the moment and if he wants the job he can have it.

McCall took training for the first time yesterday and admitted he was "drained" by the new experience. The veteran midfielder said: "It is impossible for one person to manage, organise the training and play. I will need somebody beside me, someone to sit in the dug-out for the game at the weekend. The manager's job has just come about a year too early for me."

McCall's current "No 2" is his former Everton team-mate Neville Southall, Bradford's goalkeeping coach, and the Welshman will be the main voice on the touchline against his old team Everton on saturday if Evans declines the offer.

Tottenham's Director of Football, David Pleat, is the favourite for the full-time post, but he said yesterday he had not been approached.

Joe Kinnear, inevitably, has been linked with the job, but is down the list along with Howard Kendall and Sheffield United's Neil Warnock.

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