O'Neill will wait to be reunited with Izzet

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The Independent Online

Celtic are ready to move in for Muzzy Izzet after he turned down a £6m move to Middlesbrough. The Turkish international midfielder rose to prominence while under the Celtic manager Martin O'Neill during the latter's time at Leicester City. O'Neill would prefer to wait until the end of the season and is keen to recruit Izzet for around £4m.

The Blackburn Rovers manager Graeme Souness will sign the Turk Hakan Unsal this week if he agrees to personal terms. Souness has agreed a deal with his old club Galatasaray for the versatile Hakan, the experienced international he wants for his problem left-back position.

However, Hakan and his agent are still discussing wages and that may yet be a stumbling block, although Souness hopes for an answer in 48 hours..

John Gregory has been quoted a £3m fee for Croatia's World Cup goalkeeper Stipe Pletikosa. The Derby County manager saw Pletikosa play for his country last week and wanted to do a deal at around £1.8m with his side Hajduk Split, but the club want more for the 22-year-old.

The Parma and Japan midfielder Hidetoshi Nakata has been linked with Chelsea, according to Italian reports. Nakata has struggled to establish himself since his move from Roma last July. Parma denied that they have been approached. Nakata, 25, was left out of the starting line-up for a 10th consecutive league match for the visit of Torino yesterday, coming on in the 68th minute of his side's 1-0 home defeat.

Alan Cork has resigned as Cardiff City's manager after 16 months in charge at Ninian Park. The former Wimbledon player has come under pressure due to their erratic form in the Second Division in their push for a second successive promotion. The final straw was Saturday's 4-0 away defeat to struggling Wigan Athletic.

Speaking of the fans' reaction after the defeat, Cork said: "Life's never comfortable in Cardiff because everyone wants to win every game, but you can't blame them." He met the club's owner Sam Hammam to discuss his future and offered his resignation.

The Welsh club have endured a turbulent season with regards to their coaching staff. The former Wales manager Bobby Gould left his post as director of football earlier in the campaign and Ian Atkins – who held a similar role – lasted only a matter of months.

However, Hammam could well have the instant replacement for Cork already on his staff with the former Charlton Athletic manager Lennie Lawrence, sacked by Grimsby Town earlier this season, having recently taken over as director of coaching.

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