Chelsea eye Savio's Real situation

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The Independent Online

Savio has told Real Madrid he plans to leave the Spanish club, a decision that has given Gianluca Vialli hope that he can bring him to England in an £8m transfer.

Savio has told Real Madrid he plans to leave the Spanish club, a decision that has given Gianluca Vialli hope that he can bring him to England in an £8m transfer.

The Chelsea manager sees Savio, 26, as a long-term replacement for Gianfranco Zola, and the Brazilian striker warned Real that he would not be staying with them beyond his current contract, which still has three years to run. "I believe my time with Real Madrid will be over soon," Savio said. "I'm a professional and I am always open to offers."

Leeds United hope to win their latest disagreement with Soccer Australia after it demanded that Mark Viduka should return Down Under this weekend. Leeds had negotiated with Australian officials for Viduka's release for the Sydney Olympic Games, which start on 15 September, to be after Tuesday's home match against Manchester City.

However, Soccer Australia then requested he be available 48 hours before a warm-up game against Kuwait, also scheduled for Tuesday.

The Soccer Australia chairman, David Woolley, faxed Leeds to stress the game is an A-class international, and therefore demanded the release of Viduka, who will compete as one of the over-age players.

But Leeds have contacted the Football Association, which in turn has spoken to Fifa, the sport's world governing body, to determine the exact status of the match. Leeds are confident that as the game is a friendly it cannot be categorised as A-class and therefore Viduka does not have to play.

Joe Royle, the Manchester City manager, has decided against trying to sign the Paris St-Germain defender Godwin Okpara after the Nigerian played in a closed-door game at City yesterday. Okpara came billed as a right wing-back but did not match Royle's requirements and he called off a possible £2.5m transfer.

Meanwhile, Royle is to drop his captain Richard Edghill City meet Leeds on Tuesday. Edghill has had a couple of bad games and Alf Inge Haaland will take over the captain's role.

Celtic have signed Alan Thompson, the Aston Villa midfielder, for £2.57m and the striker, Didier Agathé, from Hibernian for £50,000. Rob Lee has signed a one-year contract with Newcastle United.

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