Chelsea act to protect Petit from approach by United

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The Independent Football

Emmanuel Petit would risk legal action if he went back on his word to Chelsea and signed for Manchester United. The Blues yesterday confirmed they have signed the French midfielder on a pre-contract from Barcelona for £6m, and he will become their player on 1 July.

However, Manchester United entered the race for Petit at the weekend, inspiring Chelsea to moved to protect their interests. Colin Hutchinson, the managing director at Stamford Bridge, said copies of the signed contracts had been lodged with the Football Association and the FA Premier League. Chelsea kept details of the deal secret to comply with the wishes of Barcelona, who did not want it to affect their challenge for the Champions' League.

Everton are making a late attempt to sign Wigan's Northern Ireland international goalkeeper Roy Carroll, who had seemed poised to sign for Leicester City. The Everton manager, Walter Smith, has offered Wigan a player swap of the goalkeeper Steve Simonsen plus cash, and has offered Carroll the chance to become the first choice at Goodison.

Leicester agreed a £3m deal for Carroll, but they have yet to complete the transfer as doubts have been raised within Filbert Street about the cost of the exercise after other Taylor "bargains" from the lower divisions failed to work out.

Dennis Wise, Leicester City's new £1.6m midfielder, yesterday explained his decision to join the club after 11 years at Chelsea. "I didn't want this year to be a bit-part player, sitting on the bench," Wise said at a Filbert Street news conference. "I won a lot of things at Chelsea and I thoroughly enjoyed it. But now it's time to move on."

The Manchester City midfielder Mark Kennedy is stalling over a £2m move to Wolves because he believes the Maine Road club have not offered him a proper severance payment.

Cardiff City have made a club-record £800,000 offer for Stoke City's Republic of Ireland international midfielder Graham Kavanagh.

The Coventry City chairman, Bryan Richardson, and his Bradford counterpart, Geoffrey Richmond, have been named as the new representatives for the First Division on the Football League's board of directors. The two men, whose clubs were relegated from the Premiership last season, will join the Crewe chairman John Bowler on the board.

The Colchester chairman, Peter Heard, and the Notts County director Peter Storrie will represent the Second Division, while Leyton Orient's chairman, Barry Hearn, is the Third Division member.

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