Middlesbrough poised to make move for Viduka

Click to follow
The Independent Online

Mark Viduka is poised to begin talks with Middlesbrough, indicating that the club are poised to act on their long-standing interest in Leeds United's Australia international.

Mark Viduka is poised to begin talks with Middlesbrough, indicating that the club are poised to act on their long-standing interest in Leeds United's Australia international.

Boro remain the only club to have tabled an official offer for the 28-year-old. Galatasaray recently asked to take Viduka on loan next season. The Turkish side were willing to pay his £65,000-a-week wages and £1.5m for the deal, but it was an arrangement that suited neither the club nor the player, as Leeds remain in need of cash to ease their £60m debts and huge wage bill.

Viduka has scored 72 goals in 166 appearances for Leeds since his £6m move from Celtic four years ago, with the 13 he scored last season in United's relegation campaign - his lowest total - still four more than the tally managed by Boro's top scorers, Juninho and Szilard Nemeth.

Viduka is at home in Australia, recovering from back and hamstring injuries sustained towards the end of last season, although he is due to return at some stage next week.

His new manager at Leeds, Kevin Blackwell, is in talks with the veteran coach Sam Ellis, formerly Burnley's No 2, about becoming his assistant.

The Qatar Football Association has beaten Bolton and Celtic to Rivaldo's signature. The Brazilian international, who was a target for both clubs, has signed up to join Ronald de Boer in the Middle East next season, while Frank de Boer is also considering a move to join his brother.

The Qatar FA technical director, Manfred Honer, said: "Rivaldo has signed for us. He has been here for three days looking around and finding a place to live. I never had any doubt in the negotiations that the move was all about money - it is what motivates the player. I can't reveal figures, but if you are telling me Celtic and Bolton were willing to offer him £30,000 a week, I can only smile and say we are paying him much, much more."

The Manchester United manager, Sir Alex Ferguson, has been advised that his new defender Gabriel Heinze will need careful handling. The Paris St-Germaindefender is set to complete his £6m move to United in the next few days, and Ferguson's counterpart at the French club, Vahid Halilhodzic, said: "Gabriel is a difficult character. If you say right, he says left.

"On the pitch he is always superb, unbeatable. But his rebellious character comes out away from the game.He is always complicated. But when he plays he accepts things and does his best for the team."

Comments