Chelsea hammer out £11m Lampard deal

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The Independent Online

West Ham United have accepted an £11m bid from Chelsea for their 22-year-old England midfielder Frank Lampard.

Chelsea's managing director, Colin Hutchinson, confirmed that the Blues have been given the go-ahead to sign Lampard the day after selling Gustavo Poyet to Tottenham Hotspur.

Hutchinson also said that a move for the former Arsenal midfielder Emmanuel Petit, unsettled at Barcelona, was possible. "It's fair to say he has other options and nothing is going to happen overnight as he is currently on holiday," Hutchinson said. "When he returns we will look to sit down with him and find out if he wants to come here. If he does we will try and agree personal terms."

Lampard made it clear to the Hammers that he wanted to follow his uncle Harry Redknapp and father Frank Snr out of Upton Park following their departure last month. A number of clubs were interested in the goalscoring midfielder and Aston Villa had a £15m combined bid for Lampard and Frédéric Kanouté turned down.

Dwight Yorke is in trouble with his country as well as his club. The Manchester United striker went missing before a Trinidad and Tobago warm-up friendly game against Panama at the weekend, angering the their football authorities.

The forward, who was left out of United's last two games for disciplinary reasons, claimed there were "family health reasons" for his absence. But the Trinidad and Tobago authorities could leave Yorke out of World Cup qualifying matches as a penalty.

The Trinidad and Tobago FA's president, Oliver Camps, said: "This is something to be concerned about. We continue to make arrangements to play these friendlies and key players are not turning up. This time it's more disappointing because there are no English club commitments at the same moment as these games."

Yorke and his friend Russell Latapy have both gone missing, with Latapy claiming he is sorting out his future after being sacked by Hibernian. Latapy had his contract cancelled after missing training following a late night with Yorke in Edinburgh. Yorke was later punished by Sir Alex Ferguson for the incident, and he has been offered to Newcastle, among other clubs.

David Moyes, who has signed a new five-year contract as Preston North End's manager, wants to sign the striker Richard Cresswell for £750,000 from Leicester City. Moyes, who turned down the chance to manage Southampton, was impressed by Cresswell's contributioon to Preston's promotion campaign, which took them to the final of last season's play-offs.

Southampton have yet to name a replacement for Glenn Hoddle as manager, but they are set to sign the Swedish international Anders Svensson from Elfsborg. The 24-year-old midfielder has been in talks with the club about the move, which will cost Saints about £500,000.

Jim Smith, the Derby County manager, has confirmed he is in talks with the Southampton midfielder Hassan Kachloul. The 28-year-old Morocco international is out of contract at The Dell.

Paul Jewell is ready to team up with Chris Hutchings in a new-look management team at Wigan Athletic. Jewell will be named manager in the next few days and he wants Hutchings, who replaced him at Bradford a year ago, as his No 2.

Leicester City now aim to be playing in a new 32,000-seat stadium a year earlier than they had previously planned. They are ready to start work on the £28m stadium at Freemen's Wharf in the next fortnight after receiving backing from a sponsor, and they hope to play there from the start of the 2002-2003 season. Leicester, who have received planning permission, are buying a 22-acre site from the electricity generator Powergen.

* Ronnie Allen, the former England and West Bromwich Albion striker, has died aged 72. Allen, who scored 208 goals in 415 league appearances for the Baggies, won five caps while at The Hawthorns between 1950 and 1961. He scored twice in the 1954 FA Cup final as Albion beat Preston and went on to manage Wolves, Walsall, West Bromwich, Athletic Bilbao and Sporting Lisbon.

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