Yorke ready to leave Rovers for place in sun
Thursday 15 January 2004
Dwight Yorke is planning to leave Blackburn Rovers for a lucrative deal in the Middle East. Yorke's future at Ewood Park is unsettled and his advisers have been approached by clubs in Qatar about a move for the start of their season in April.
Yorke's history as a player with Manchester United makes him an especially attractive signing for the oil-rich clubs who have also secured the services of Gabriel Batistuta, Steffan Effenberg and Franck Lebeouf in the past year.
Yorke has had mixed success at Blackburn, showing rare glimpses of his talent. The pace of the game may be catching up with him and he is no longer a certain starter. The opportunity of a lucrative contract in a more relaxed atmosphere, with a jet-set lifestyle for the top Arab-based players, interests the player, who has told friends he is partial to the idea.
Blackburn will have to cooperate to make the deal happen and free Yorke, which is possible once they are clear of the threat of relegation.
Wolves tried to sign the player recently and were quoted a price of £500,000, but that may be adjusted closer to the end of the domestic season - espeically with the United States World Cup striker Brian McBride now poised to join Rovers.
McBride will be allowed to move to Blackburn for a fee of under £1m, an attractive proposition for the manager, Graeme Souness, who has been eager to complete the signing. Rovers can raise the money by selling the centre-half Martin Taylor to Birmingham City, with the clubs now close to agreement on a fee worth an initial £1.5m. The club could also reduce their wage bill by letting the Italian midfielder Dino Baggio go to Ancona.
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