McBride poised for Fulham switch

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The Independent Football

The United States striker Brian McBride is turning down a move to Blackburn Rovers because they want him to take a pay cut if they are relegated. Instead, he is looking at a move to Fulham.

McBride has been pursued by Rovers for two months but a request to lower his wages should they drop down a division brought negotiations to an abrupt end. Fulham have now agreed a fee of around £700,000 with Major League Soccer and there should be no hitches over personal terms.

McBride is expected to fly in today to join Chris Coleman's club and his acquisition will partly make up for the loss of Louis Saha, who is finally heading for Manchester United. It is the latest transfer setback for the Rovers manager, Graeme Souness, who has missed out on several potential targets recently.

One departure yesterday was that of the former Italian international Dino Baggio, who has returned to Italy's Serie A to join Mario Jardel at struggling Ancona. The midfielder struggled to make an impression in the first team at Blackburn.

Baggio, now 32, had joined Rovers on a season-long loan from Lazio, but the second half of that spell will now be spent with Ancona.

Bolton fined Jardel £30,000 for going on strike before sending him to Italy, it was revealed yesterday. The Brazilian's refusal to train on the day before an FA Cup tie angered his manager, Sam Allardyce, who fined him the maximum two week's wages. Jardel rang in to say he was "at a meeting" and would not make training, a decision which finished his future at the club as well as costing him his place against Tranmere in their first third-round meeting.

Jardel's advisers tried to fix a move to one of the Spanish sides Espanyol and Murcia, but the cost of the package was prohibitive. Clubs had to find £400,000 for the privilege of taking him for half a season.

Ancona, bottom of Serie A, came up with the best terms for the former Golden Boot-winner, although Perugia were also keen.

Allardyce now has the bonus of £15,000-a-week in wages to spend on one or possibly two new players, with Sunderland's Michael Gray likely to sign on loan.