Paul Ince arrived back in England last night, still a Manchester United player after delaying an pounds 8m move to Internazionale because his wife was unhappy about the accommodation offered.
Inter insisted that Ince will return next week to sign a three-year deal. In the meantime, it seems, they must come up with property more to the liking of the midfielder's wife, Clare.
She was unimpressed by club apartments by Lake Como and near the training ground. Otherwise, according to both Inter's vice-president, Gianmaria Visconte, and Ince's lawyer, Henri Bradman, negotiations were concluded successfully. "For us," Visconte said, "it's as if he had already signed." Inter dismissed reports that Ince was alarmed by racist graffiti which appeared on the stadium walls, claiming it was the work of Milan fans.
The United chairman, Martin Edwards, responded to fans concerned by Ince's impending sale and Inter's interest in Eric Cantona and Lee Sharpe. "We thought we could afford to part with Paul without jeopardising our chances of regaining the title," he explained.
Aston Villa, already rebuffed this summer by Stan Collymore, Paul Gascoigne and Les Ferdinand, learned last night that Barcelona had rejected their pounds 5.5m offer for Gheorghe Hagi, the Romanian international midfielder.
Derby appoint Smith, page 26Reuse content