Vialli eager for Chelsea's pounds 2m salary

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The Independent Online
Gianluca Vialli is expected to become Ruud Gullit's first signing for Chelsea next week, in a deal with the Stamford Bridge club that will earn him pounds 2m per year.

The Italian international has agreed to the move after speaking with Chelsea's new player-manager. He has told Gullit that he wants to come to London - both Rangers and Middlesbrough have tried to tempt the Juventus striker but he prefers the attractions of the capital.

The arrival of his friend, Gullit, in the manager's office has secured the deal, which should be agreed in the next few days and made official after next week's European Cup final against Ajax in Rome.

Vialli thinks it is time for a new start after being overlooked for the Italian Euro 96 squad. He has been looking for a pounds 40,000 per-week deal, which has scared off some clubs. However, with no transfer fee to pay, the Stamford Bridge club believe he is worth the outlay.

The Blackburn Rovers manager, Ray Harford, has made a pounds 3.5m bid for the French international striker, Christophe Dugarry. Harford is willing to double Dugarry's wages in an attempt to persuade him to quit the Uefa Cup finalists, Bordeaux. The fee will be acceptable to Bordeaux, but Dugarry is reluctant to move to England. However, Blackburn are offering him pounds 12,000 a week, which is twice his present wage.

Bryan Robson has added another Brazilian to his squad at Middlesbrough with yesterday's pounds 4m signing of the 24-year-old midfielder, Emerson, from Porto. Bobby Robson, the former England manager who now coaches Porto, recommended Emerson to his namesake.

"He is a strong, intelligent player who can dictate the pace of the game. He is a good passer and can score goals," the Middlesbrough manager said of his new signing, who is uncapped at senior level but does not need a work permit because of his Portuguese passport.

The Ajax striker, Patrick Kluivert, is free to play for the Netherlands at the European Championship after avoiding a jail sentence yesterday. At a court in Amsterdam he was found guilty of vehicular homicide, after an accident last September when a borrowed BMW he was driving crashed into another car, killing its driver. The 19-year-old Kluivert was ordered to do 240 hours of community service, and was banned from driving for 18 months.

Kluivert was one of nine Ajax players in the Dutch squad for Euro 96 which was announced yesterday by the Netherlands' coach, Guus Hiddink, but there was no room for the Arsenal winger, Glenn Helder. Bryan Hamilton, the Northern Ireland manager, included two uncapped players in his squad for the friendly against Germany in Belfast on 29 May: Phil Mulryne, the 18-year-old Manchester United winger, and Roy Carroll, 19, the Hull City goalkeeper.

International squads, Sporting Digest, page 23

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