O'Leary 'is staying put'

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The Independent Online

The Leeds chairman Peter Ridsdale yesterday dismissed speculation linking his manager, David O'Leary, with a move to Manchester United at the end of next season.

Reports last week suggested that O'Leary would be free to move to Old Trafford if United wanted his services after the retirement of manager Sir Alex Ferguson next summer. But Ridsdale has moved to clear up any confusion, claiming that the 43-year-old Irishman is not going anywhere due to his determination to finish a job he started almost three years ago.

Last season O'Leary, who was appointed by Ridsdale in October 1998, signed a new and improved six-year, £7.5m deal, making him one of the highest paid managers in the Premiership.

Ridsdale said: "I believe any employee, particularly the manager who is the most important employee, has to have the right circumstances and right conditions in which to work. David has total freedom to act. We have supported him completely in the transfer market and he has a young, fresh and energetic team, who everybody believes will win something in the next year or two in terms of honours. In case a few people are concerned, I will reiterate, David O'Leary is going nowhere."

Jari Litmanen scored the winning goal for Liverpool to cap a triumphant return to Amsterdam last night. The Finn, who won the European Cup with Ajax, struck with a perfect first-time volley six minutes from time to beat Valencia in the Amsterdam Tournament.

The England Under-21 defender Luke Young has joined Charlton from Tottenham in a £4m deal.

The Italian striker Fabrizio Ravanelli says he will sign for Derby County today. His move to Derby has been dragging on for weeks but his agent, Gianni Paladini, said yesterday: "Fabrizio will be a Derby County player by the end of the week."

Crystal Palace have agreed to buy Andy Campbell from Middlesbrough for £1m. Personal terms have been agreed and the deal for the England Under-21 striker is now dependent only on a medical.

The Manchester United reserve goalkeeper Raimond van der Gouw has signed a new one-year contract with the club.

The French striker Marc Libbra is poised to join First Division Norwich City in a deal worth around £500,000.

The striker Souleymane Oulare has begun a 72-hour trial with Southampton. The 28-year-old from Guinea arrived on the south coast yesterday and has been training with the first team at Saints' Staplewood training headquarters. Oulare has until tomorrow, when the team are due to fly to the Netherlands for a friendly match against Feyenoord, to earn himself a full-time contract.

Kilmarnock have signed the former Queen's Park Rangers and Watford striker Michel Ngonge. He has signed a one-year deal after being released by the Loftus Road club.

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