Stam's wife keen on move to City

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The Independent Online

Manchester City have a secret ally in their attempt to sign Jaap Stam from Lazio – his wife, Elise.

Kevin Keegan's plan to bring Stam back to Manchester in a £10m summer move was confirmed by his agent Ton Vandallen yesterday. The Dutchman was sticking to the party line, saying he is happy to fight for a place in the side, but there is family pressure.

His wife Elise enjoyed her time in the city from Stam's spell at United and they still have a home in Bowdon, rented out to their close friends the Van Nistelrooys. Lazio are equally keen on the move and have brought in agents to find a buyer.

In another example of spouse power, the wife of Jan Molby confirmed that the former Liverpool midfielder is leaving Kidderminster to take over at Hull. Mandy Molby told a Danish paper that her husband was due to take charge of Kidderminster for the last time against Cheltenham last night.

Stefan Effenberg says he expects to sign for Fulham this summer. The German World Cup veteran, asked if a move to Fulham was likely, said: "Things are looking that way."

England and Northern Ireland face an anxious wait after the deadline for agreement of Euro 2004 qualifying dates expired. Uefa, European football's governing body, will stage a draw tomorrow to determine the order of games after the teams involved in four groups failed to reach agreement.

Group seven – England, Turkey, Macedonia, Slovakia and Liechtenstein – missed Monday's deadline.

Middlesbrough have off-loaded their strikers Hamilton Ricard and Andy Campbell. Ricard has joined CSKA Sofia while Campbell has moved to Cardiff for £1m.

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