Parkes seeks approval to sign Polish striker

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The Independent Online
Tony Parkes, the Blackburn Rovers caretaker-manager, flies to Italy today to meet Sven Goran Eriksson for the first time and get his blessing for the pounds 4m signing of Marek Citko from Widzew Lodz.

Parkes, who watched the Polish World Cup midfielder in training at Blackburn yesterday, needs the final approval of Eriksson. The Sampdoria coach is due to take over at Ewood Park at the end of the season.

The West Ham managing director, Peter Storrie, travelled north yesterday to open transfer talks with Celtic for Pierre van Hooijdonk. Meanwhile, Leeds' pounds 4m bid for another Celtic forward, Jorge Cadete, has been rebuffed.

Van Hooijdonk, who played in last night's 2-1 win at Raith in the Premier Division, has been in dispute with Celtic for much of the season after demanding a pay rise.

Now West Ham want to find out if they can meet an asking price for the 27-year-old Dutch international, which is likely to be between pounds 3m and pounds 4m.

Cadete is reported by a Portuguese newspaper as saying: "There are some English clubs interested in me, but I am enjoying staying with Celtic and will probably honour my contract until 1999."

The West Bromwich Albion left-back Shane Nicholson is set to miss the rest of the season, recovering from a leg infection.

Brighton supporters are urging fans throughout the country to jam the Football Association's telephone and fax lines in the three days leading up to England's game against Italy at Wembley on 12 February.

John Baine, of the Brighton Independent Supporters' Association, said: "The idea behind this protest is to clog the FA ahead of the England game. We have to make people aware that the FA have been spineless in matters concerning the Albion's future."

More talks between the Brighton chairman, Bill Archer, and Dick Knight, the head of the consortium trying to take over the Third Division club, are being held later this week.

Brighton plan to ground-share at Gillingham next season but no one at a supporters' meeting on Monday night said they would be making the 170- mile round trip.

n Fifa's president, Joao Havelange, has acknowledged there is too much professional football being played in the world but said there was little the sport's world governing body could do about it. "I agree that there is an excess of games," Havelange said. "Everyone players, directors, doctors, coaching staff wants to make money and for that to happen, they have to play."