Sunderland try to tempt Lechkov

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The Independent Online
The Sunderland manager, Peter Reid, hopes to sign Bulgaria's outstanding midfielder Yordan Lechkov after the European Championship.

Lechkov, who played in all three of Bulgaria's Group B games and stood out at USA 94, is in dispute with his German club, Hamburg, and they have told him to find a new team. They have lined up Croatia's Robert Prosinecki, of Barcelona, as his replacement.

Lechkov has been linked with Arsenal, but Sunderland are prepared to offer pounds 1.5m. He has the option of returning to his former club CSKA Sofia, but he is expected to move to England instead if Reid sells the allure of Sunderland to him.

The Walsall manager, Chris Nicholl, has agreed to stay with the Midlands team for another year, quelling rumours linking him with the vacancy at his old club Southampton.

The Walsall chairman, Jeff Bonser, said yesterday he was delighted Nicholl had agreed to sign another one-year contract. "He feels we have the potential to win promotion to the First Division, but it has been a long job persuading him to stay," Bonser said.

The 26-year-old goalkeeper Colin Scott has left Rangers for the chance of first-team football and a two-year contract with Bradford City.