Rivaldo will sign for Bolton 'this week'

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The Independent Football

Rivaldo has convinced the Bolton manager, Sam Allardyce, that he wants to swap Rio for the Reebok after a meeting to thrash out his transfer.

Allardyce is confident that the Brazilian will sign a £4m contract this week, saying: "I don't think Rivaldo wants to sit back on the beach in Brazil just yet. Sure, he has made money but there are other things that football brings. It gets in your blood and you don't want to let go. Players of his ability need that adrenalin rush.

"These players need to be wanted and be a star. They have had it for so long - for it to stop is like coming off an illegal substance."

Rivaldo has been touted elsewhere but Bolton think they have offered the best deal and Allardyce trusts his judgement. He said: "I've had lots of people on, including Premiership managers, taking the mickey. The other thing they ask is 'how can you afford him?' But I am confident about what we are doing. The fact that he hasn't had a good last 12 months has put most people off. But I know, if we get him through a pre-season, that he will be all right."

The 32-year-old said he does not think he will have many problems adapting: "I am grateful to Sam Allardyce for the chance they want to give me and all I can say is how impressed I am with their whole set-up."

He added: "It won't be a problem for me to adapt. I will be busy playing, getting in shape and learning English, and being in a smaller town will help me do that."

The England defender Jonathan Woodgate has been ruled out of Euro 2004 by the Newcastle manager, Sir Bobby Robson. The Newcastle United centre-back tore a muscle during last Sunday's win over Chelsea.

"It will need at least two months to repair," Robson said after his team's 1-0 defeat by Manchester City on Saturday. "That is without him being involved in serious training so we do not know how long it will take for him to get fit."

Brian Kidd has undergone surgery for prostate cancer and may not be fit to travel with England to Euro 2004. Kidd is one of Sven-Goran Eriksson's backroom staff. AFootball Association spokesman said: "We all look forward to him making a speedy recovery."

* Aston Villa are keen on the 20-year-old right-back Paul Connolly, who has had an excellent season with the Second Division champions, Plymouth Argyle.

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