Wenger ready to extend his Highbury reign

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The Independent Football

Arsene Wenger is expected to sign a new extended contract as Arsenal's manager before the start of the season.

"Arsène has got another year to go on his current contract but he has given the board his assurance that he has the will to commit himself to the club," the Arsenal vice-chairman, David Dein, said yesterday. "These things take time and let me just say I would be extremely disappointed if he did not extend his stay here. In fact, to put it another way, I expect him to sign."

There was also contract news at Old Trafford, where Nicky Butt, Paul Scholes and Denis Irwin signed new deals.

Butt pledged to stay and fight for his place after the arrival of Juan Veron by signing a five-year contract. Paul Scholes' place could also be threatened by Veron, but he, too, has committed his future to the Reds by signing a six-year contract.

The England pairhave received hefty pay rises. Scholes has become one of the club's highest earners on around £70,000 a week, while Butt's salary has reportedly jumped to approximately £35,000 a week.

The veteran full-back Irwin has signed a one-year contract. His 12-month agreement ended last Saturday and the 35-year-old had been wanted by Newcastle, Coventry and Watford.

The Everton target Tomasz Radzinski has gone on strike at Anderlecht to push through his move to Goodison Park. The Canadian international has refused to report back for training.

Ian Atkins is ready to accept the chance to become Cardiff City's Director of Football and turn down approaches from Torquay and Tranmere.

Peter Beagrie is to move into management for the first time, as player-coach under Brian Laws at Scunthorpe United.

The Toulouse defender Bobo Balde is expected to become a Celtic player next week. The 25-year-old is believed to be signing a five-year deal after protracted negotiations with the French club.

The Fulham striker Paul Peschisolido's move to Sheffield United is on after the Blades' manager, Neil Warnock, struck a cut-price deal and the player took a wage cut. The 30-year-old Canada international, who spent two months on loan at Bramall Lane last season, will sign subject to a medical.

Parma have signed the Japanese international Hide-toshi Nakata from the Serie A champions Roma in a four-year deal reputed to be worth around $25.9m (£18.5m).

The Everton striker Phil Jevons, has agreed a three-year deal with Grimsby Town. West Bromwich have had a £150,000 offer for the Carlisle striker Scott Dobie accepted. The Bournemouth midfielder Claus Jorgensen has signed a two-year deal with Bradford City after leaving on a Bosman free transfer.