Ranieri bid for Gronkjaer fails

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The Independent Football

Chelsea's new manager, Claudio Ranieri, who believes his side needs an "English backbone", has reportedly had an £8.5m offer for a Danish international turned down.

Chelsea's new manager, Claudio Ranieri, who believes his side needs an "English backbone", has reportedly had an £8.5m offer for a Danish international turned down.

According to an agent, Vincenzo Morabito, Ranieri made a bid for Jesper Gronkjaer of Ajax but the 23-year-old midfielder rejected the move, saying he wanted to stay at the Dutch club at least until the end of the season.

Chelsea's Tore Andre Flo, meanwhile, has said he will fight for his place despite Ranieri's desire to give Chelsea a more English look.

Leeds United have made another £15m bid for Rio Ferdinand, according to the West Ham manager, Harry Redknapp. He added that, although he was tempted by the offer, Ferdinand was not for sale.

"They won't give up, will they?" Redknapp said. "I'd be lying if I said if I said it hadn't crossed my mind to sell him for that kind of money and bring a few players into the squad that would strengthen it even more."

Sir Alex Ferguson has made a final request to the French veteran, Laurent Blanc, to sign for Manchester United. Ferguson has been trying for months to persuade the centre-half to join from Internazionale and has now decided to try one last time. Blanc would be an ideal replacement for Jaap Stam, who faces a three-month lay-off to clean out an Achilles tendon problems.

Blackburn Rovers have called off the signing of Lucien Mettomo after the St-Etienne centre-half failed a medical. Blackburn's manager, Graeme Souness, has also ended his interest in the Celtic midfielder Eyal Berkovic. One player who could be leaving Blackburn is the midfielder, Lee Carsley. Coventry's Gordon Strachan is preparing a £2.5m offer for the player.

Liverpool's Robbie Fowler scored five times in an 8-0 reserve-team win over Bradford City on Wednesday to put himself in contention for a first-team return and possible call-up for England's World Cup qualifier against Germany next month. Fowler came back in fine style after months out on the injured list.

Millwall want Micky Adams to leave Brighton and become their new manager. The Second Division side are preparing an official approach to the Seagulls.

Wolves have signed the midfielder Tony Dinning from Stockport for £600,000, subject to a medical.

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