Middlesbrough move to secure Forlan transfer

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The Independent Football

Diego Forlan met Middlesbrough last night after a £6m deal was agreed with the Argentinian side Independiente.

The Boro manager Steve McClaren could beat his former employers, Manchester United, to the signature of the 22-year-old. Boro's chief executive Keith Lamb discussed personal terms in Buenos Aires with the Uruguayan striker yesterday.

United's manager, Sir Alex Ferguson, is now under pressure to retaliate as he looks to bring in Forlan and Paolo di Canio. United could finance a move by selling Dwight Yorke, with Sunderland favourites to sign him. They are likely to offer around £5m, and should be able to meet his personal demands.

United will have to increase their offer for Di Canio by around £1m to obtain the West Ham playmaker. The Hammers have turned down £2.5m and are believed to be holding out for a £3.5m fee that will cover the Italian's £400,000 loyalty pay-off.

Tottenham are awaiting the results of scans on Christian Ziege's injured knee ligaments, incurred in Saturday's 2-1 defeat at Ipswich, amid fears he could be out until March.

The Bolton manager Sam Allardyce has admitted putting his health at risk because he cannot complete a managers' fitness regime. Allardyce, featured in a documentary about stress last night, says he has failed to stick to the programme given to him as a guinea pig by the League Managers' Association.

The Bolton manager, seen on ITV's Tonight as his blood pressure rose alarmingly during a game, was one of 10 picked out for work on diet and fitness.

"It's firstly a matter of finding the time," he said. "But it also hurts so much, down to the wear and tear over 20 years. It's left me partially disabled. The neck and knee joints are sore, and the back. I also have to admit I find it incredibly boring. I could never be a marathon runner"

Colin Hendry had an ankle operation yesterday and will be missing for Bolton for the next month. He chipped a bone in the same fall that damaged knee ligaments against Liverpool on New Year's Day.

Danny Tiatto has been assured by his manager Kevin Keegan that he will remain at Manchester City. The Australian reacted angrily to being sent off during the win over Norwich on Sunday and booted water bottles towards the opposition bench.

The FC Copenhagen defender, Niclas Jensen, is close to moving to City, according to reports in the Danish press.

Rangers are in talks with Wolves' Australian tough right-back Kevin Muscat about an end-of-season signing. Chairman David Murray has made an approach to the defender, who can leave in the summer when his contract runs out.

The former Netherlands coach Dick Advocaat has turned down the chance to lead the team again following Louis van Gaal's departure in November. He will remain Rangers' director of football.

Wim van Hanegem, the former club coach and World Cup player, currently working as a TV summariser, will be invited to take charge for the next three friendlies. After that, Frank Rijkaard, who resigned after Euro 2000, is thought to be favourite – with Marco van Basten as his assistant. Rijkaard is now with Sparta, and while Van Basten has not been involved in coaching or management since retiring, the Dutch FA has a fast-track scheme whereby players with 40 or more caps can obtain coaching certificates, making Van Basten eligible.

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