Ravanelli to hold talks at Everton

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The Independent Online
Fabrizio Ravanelli, who does not get out of bed for less than pounds 42,000 a week, will rouse himself from his hideaway in Italy on Monday and fly to England for talks about a pounds 7.5m move to Everton.

Lengthy long-distance discussions yesterday ended with the Middlesbrough striker, who had rejected Everton last week while he negotiated with Liverpool, willing to reconsider a transfer.

Howard Kendall will now have the task of selling Everton to Ravanelli with the knowledge that the Italian international is unlikely to agree to a drop in wages.

Everton's desperate need for reinforcements is such that they are likely to equal Ravanelli's salary at Boro, even though it would wreck the Goodison pay structure. Ravanelli was prepared to take less at Liverpool but his personal terms have now risen again.

However, as Everton and Ravanelli, who is allergic to Nationwide League football, need each other at the moment, what looked an unlikely marriage could be consummated soon.

First of all though, Everton have a divorce to sort out and among the envelopes popping through the Goodison letterbox yesterday was a writ from Sheffield United who have started legal proceedings against the club and Kendall following the former Blades manager's defection.

United, who demanded pounds 1m in compensation for Kendall's departure, have grown tired of waiting for an amicable settlement. "I am very annoyed that Everton have been extremely slow and unforthcoming and have not fulfilled the promises that were made when we initially gave permission for Everton to approach Howard Kendall," Charles Green, United's chief executive, said: "I feel that the only way forward now is for lawyers to resolve the situation."

The Swedish international Martin Dahlin has completed his pounds 2.5m move to Blackburn Rovers from Roma. Roy Hodgson, who was also Dahlin's manager at Malmo, said: "Martin is a top striker. I believe he could be a big hit in the Premiership and at 29 he is probably at the peak of his game. I have no worries about him whatsoever."

Dahlin, who has scored 27 goals in 51 internationals, will team up today with the Blackburn party who, conveniently, are on a 10-day trip to his homeland.

Sheffield Wednesday are chasing the Ukrainian winger Sergei Nahornyak. Wednesday are prepared to pay Dnipro Petrovsk pounds 1m for the 25-year-old international, who is rated the best player in the Ukraine since Andrei Kanchelskis.

"I have heard excellent reports about this boy from former Coventry and Leicester manager Gordon Milne whose judgement I respect," David Pleat, the Wednesday manager. "We are hoping to have the player over here next week to speak to him, but first we need permission from his club and we are working on that."

From rages to rhymes, you get the lot at Arsenal with the discovery that Tony Adams is into poetry the day after team-mate Ian Wright was fined a record pounds 15,000 by the Football Association for misconduct.

The 30-year-old Adams, who confessed to being an alcoholic a year ago, has successfully changed his lifestyle which now includes verse and Thomas Hardy, and Arsenal stand to reap the benefits.

"Football players have a lot of pressure on them, but reading can give you peace of mind," professor Gary Cooper, a sports psychologist said. "It will improve him as a person and that will improve him as a player."

Adams, who joins Eric Cantona as a lover of literature, will have plenty of time for a few chapters when the season starts - he is suspended for the first two games.

The hordes of green and white shirts heading for Wales on 23 July will have to divert from Leckwith Stadium to Ninian Park following Inter CableTel's decision to move the first leg of their Uefa Cup qualifying round tie against Celtic.

"Although we are disappointed not to play Celtic on our own pitch, it is more important that we are able to accommodate the thousands of fans who want to see the match," Max James, the chairman of the League of Wales side, said.

"It will still be very much a home game for us because Ninian Park was our base in 1994 when we first qualified for European competition."

Should Inter CableTel make it to the final, their players will need to take only one day off work. Uefa has scrapped the final's two-leg format to bring it into line with the Cup-Winners' Cup and European Cup finals.