Chelsea search ends in £1.7m Jokanovic deal

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The Independent Online

Slavisa Jokanovic yesterday became Claudio Ranieri's first signing as Chelsea coach. The 32-year-old Yugoslav international was captured for £1.7m on a two-year contract to end the club's search for a central midfielder following Roberto di Matteo's broken leg, which is expected to rule him out of action for the rest of the season.

Slavisa Jokanovic yesterday became Claudio Ranieri's first signing as Chelsea coach. The 32-year-old Yugoslav international was captured for £1.7m on a two-year contract to end the club's search for a central midfielder following Roberto di Matteo's broken leg, which is expected to rule him out of action for the rest of the season.

Jokanovic arrives from the Spanish club Deportivo La Coruña, where he had been for only one season after spending four years with Tenerife as well as two with Oviedo. The midfielder caught Ranieri's eye while he was coach at Valencia and he has scored 31 goals in more than 200 appearances in Spain.

The Crystal Palace owner Simon Jordan is to sack the First Division club's veteran centre half Andy Linighan after a confrontation on a club break in Seville. Linighan, a Double-winner with Arsenal, was sent home early after the incident and his contract will be cancelled. A late-night disagreement between the defender and Jordan over tactics ended with the owner being floored in a mêlée. Linighan's imminent departure means Palace's playing resources are further depleted and the south Londoners have signed the Manchester City centre-half Andy Morrison on loan to take Linighan's place.

Gordon Strachan is making a £1.5m move to sign the Hearts and Scotland left-back Gary Naysmith. The Coventry City manager is in talks with the Tynecastle club, who want £2m for the young defender but are poised to settle for a compromise figure as he may leave for no fee if he sees out his contract.

Christian Dailly faces a month on the sidelines with a badly-fractured nose, delaying his departure from Blackburn Rovers. Dailly flew home from the Scotland camp yesterday after it was discovered that there are complications in the injury he suffered against San Marino. The centre-half may need surgery on his nose and that will leave him out of football for a few weeks.

The Fulham manager, Jean Tigana, has acquired the French midfielder Nicholas Sahoun from Bordeaux in a loan deal. The 20-year-old, who played in the Champions' League last season but is out of the Bordeaux team, will stay with the club for the rest of the season with a view to signing a permanent deal.

Sheffield Wednesday are ready to sign the Northampton Town right-back Ian Hendon. The former Spurs defender can move for £50,000 because of a clause in his contract.

Giovanni van Bronckhorst and Ronald de Boer are struggling to be fit for Rangers' Premier League tie at Hibernian on Saturday. The Dutch pair have both been ruled out of the Netherlands' World Cup qualifier against Portugal tonight after sustaining knocks in training. De Boer has injured his left knee, while Van Bronckhorst suffered a groin strain.

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