Savio's snub is blow to Chelsea

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The Independent Online

Claudio Ranieri, the new Chelsea coach, had a less than ideal first day at the office after it emerged that Savio, the Real Madrid striker whose proposed £9m move to Stamford Bridge was cited as one of the factors that brought about Gianluca Vialli's departure, has decided to stay in Spain after all.

Claudio Ranieri, the new Chelsea coach, had a less than ideal first day at the office after it emerged that Savio, the Real Madrid striker whose proposed £9m move to Stamford Bridge was cited as one of the factors that brought about Gianluca Vialli's departure, has decided to stay in Spain after all.

Ranieri is a known admirer of the Brazilian, but will be concerned by the player's disconcerting revelation that he was discouraged from signing by a current Chelsea player.

Savio said he came to his decision "out of respect for his team-mates and the coach" following weeks of talks between Chelsea and Real. However, Savio revealed that his former Real team-mate and Chelsea new boy Christian Panucci was among those who advised him to stay in Spain.

"I have listened to the words of Roberto Carlos, Flavio Conceicão and even Panucci, and they have made me think better of moving," Savio said.

Joe Royle, the Manchester City manager, is set to bid £2m for the young Swedish midfielder Anders Svensson, after watching the player in action for his club, Elfsborg, last night.

The Ajax striker Tijani Babangida is poised to join Charlton Athletic. The clubs hope to complete a deal this week. Meanwhile Tottenham could end up paying Charlton £445,000 in compensation for their young midfielder Owen Price. Spurs had offered their Premiership rivals only £4,000 after signing the 15-year-old last year, but a Football League compensation tribunal yesterday ordered them to pay an immediate £10,000 with further payments due as Price's professional career progresses.

The Millwall chairman, Theo Paphitis, said he expected to appoint a new manager by the end of the week, following the dismissal of Keith Stevens and Alan McLeary at the weekend. The first-team coach, Ray Harford, takes charge of team affairs for the Worthington Cup tie at home to Ipswich tonight.

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