Petit reveals desire for English return

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The Independent Football

Emmanuel Petit has revealed how he decided to sign for Chelsea after realising how much he missed English football. "I don't have regrets at leaving Arsenal, I had to leave because I needed something else, I needed a new target in my life," said the former Gunners midfielder, who is joining Chelsea from Barcelona for £7.5m. "A year ago I was in trouble. I had some troubles in my mind and I thought it was because of the football. Some were, but some were coming from me and after a year spent in Spain I realised that I really missed English football."

The Frenchman, who has signed a three-year contract at Stamford Bridge, moved to Spain from Highbury along with Marc Overmars in a £30m double deal last summer. However, he failed to settle in Spain and could not command a regular first-team place.

Petit's arrival at Stamford Bridge means that Manchester United have missed out on another summer target ­ and they look likely to miss out on Patrick Vieira, too. Should United, as seems likely, make an offer in the region of £25m for Vieira, Arsenal will ask United for one of their best players as part of the deal.

The Gunners have been so annoyed by the French midfielder's criticisms and so concerned that he has been "tapped" that they will take the transfer fight for him to a new level, and will demand David Beckham or Roy Keane in exchange. United are expected to make a formal move in the next few days. Vieira has ruled out a return to Italy, saying: "I can say categorically I will not be signing for an Italian club."

The Coventry City chairman Bryan Richardson last night claimed that the Wales striker Craig Bellamy had completed his £6m move to Newcastle United. Richardson also confirmed that the club had received "substantial offers" from Aston Villa and Ipswich for Mustapha Hadji. "Craig agreed personal terms and passed his medical yesterday," Richardson told the club's website. "We have recouped every penny we paid Norwich and in today's world that's a pretty good situation."

The Leicester City manager, Peter Taylor, is still hoping to sign John Hartson. It had appeared there was no hope of a deal with Coventry after their chairman, Bryan Richardson, described Leicester's initial offer as derisory. However, Taylor is hoping to resurrect his bid for the Wales striker.

The West Ham manager, Glenn Roeder, insists that the £10m-rated striker Frédéric Kanouté is not for sale. Aston Villa are believed to have made a bid and would allow England goalkeeper David James to go to Upton Park as part of the deal, following an inquiry by Roeder about his availability.

Everton are hopeful that Alan Stubbs will join them by the end of the week. The defender is set to reject a three-year deal from Celtic and return to his native Merseyside.

The Liverpool defender Djimi Traoré has turned down the chance to join Blackburn for £2.5m. The Bolton full-back Robbie Elliott is set to return to Newcastle. Preston have rejected a bid of £2.5m from Wolves for the striker Jon Macken. The Hartlepool midfielder Tommy Miller could be about to join the Norwegian side Brann Bergen for £1m.

Joe Royle has turned down the chance to become Chester City's new manager. The former Manchester City manager was approached about joining the Conference side on a short-term basis, but has decided to take a break for a few months.

Boston United are hoping to resurrect the career of Stan Collymore. The manager of the Conference side, Steve Evans, has confirmed his interest in the striker and has made contact with Spain's Real Oviedo, who hold his registration.

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