Wanchope in demand

Click to follow
The Independent Football

Manchester City are hopeful that Paulo Wanchope will be released by Costa Rica to face his former club West Ham on Saturday, writes Alan Nixon. Costa Rica want Wanchope to fly home to prepare for next Wednesday's important World Cup qualifier against Guatemala.

Manchester City are hopeful that Paulo Wanchope will be released by Costa Rica to face his former club West Ham on Saturday, writes Alan Nixon. Costa Rica want Wanchope to fly home to prepare for next Wednesday's important World Cup qualifier against Guatemala.

However, Joe Royle, City's manager, is trying to persuade Costa Rica to let Wanchope play at Upton Park before flying out. Costa Rica could block Wanchope from playing at West Ham under Fifa rules and City are relying on the central American country's good will.

The match in Guatemala is vital to Costa Rica. They need at least a point to make sure of qualifying for the Concacaf final group phase.

Mark Fish, the Bolton Wanderers defender, has agreed to join Charlton Athletic for a fee of around £850,000. The South African international, who has more than 40 caps, has been a long-time target for the London club and will join Alan Curbishley's squad subject to a work permit being granted. The 26-year-old joined Bolton from the Serie A side, Lazio, in August 1997 for a fee of £2.5m.

A first-team regular at the Reebok Stadium, Fish has been refusing to sign an improved contract offer since September, stating his desire to play Premiership football. Sam Allardyce, the Bolton manager, said: "It is disappointing but Mark Fish's recent performances have shown everyone he doesn't want to be here. The situation meant I had to act and I did that by moving him on as quickly as I could."

Meanwhile, Colin Hendry, the Scotland captain, will sign for Bolton today if Coventry City help to pay for the move. Hendry is due for talks with Allardyce to join either on loan or on a free transfer. However, Bolton cannot afford to match Hendry's terms - which are in the £1m-a-year bracket - and Coventry will have to pay for half his wages on loan or give him a pay-off to leavepermanently.

Crystal Palace are also watching developments and could move if the Bolton deal collapses for financial reasons.

Comments