Chelsea lure Zenden for £7.5m

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The Independent Football

Chelsea have signed the Dutch international winger Boudewijn Zenden from Barcelona for £7.5m. The 24-year-old has secured a four-year contract.

Zenden becomes Chelsea's fourth summer signing following the arrivals of William Gallas, Emmanuel Petit and Frank Lampard. Chelsea's managing director, Colin Hutchinson, said: "It seems like a long track to have got him, but we're delighted he is here."

Michael Ball was back in Glasgow last night for fresh talks with Rangers after the Everton manager Walter Smith threatened to freeze him out of the first team if he continued to stall on the £7m move.

Ball, who did not ask for a transfer, will be offered a contract worth £25,000-per-week by the Glasgow giants ­ and he may go rather than be left to rot in the reserves.

The deal had stalled over Ball's demands of £700,000 to leave. Smith had insisted that Ball was not given "a penny" by the club, but Everton have since made Ball an offer to leave ­ around £125,000 ­ in an attempt to resolve the impasse.

Smith has the backing from the board on his tough stance and his attitude is justified as his plans to bring in players with the Ball fee would be in disarray if he stays. Everton are even struggling to sign the Romanian captain Daniel Prodan on a free transfer. His wages and the agents' fees may be more than the club can afford.

Derby County finally unveiled Fabrizio Ravanelli after his long-winded transfer from Lazio, and the Italian immediately set his sights on winning some silverware for the club. The 32-year-old striker said: "I think, with Derby, the first thing will be to stay up but then they have a chance to have a good run in the cup and maybe win something."

Rio Ferdinand has been named captain of Leeds United. The England defender takes over from Lucas Radebe, who has been captain for the last three seasons. "Rio did very well towards the end of the season, and grew into the role of captain," the Leeds manager, David O'Leary, said. "It's no reflection on Lucas Radebe, who has done a brilliant job. He is a great man to have around the place, but I just felt Rio's game improved when he did the job with Lucas out injured."

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