World Cup 98: pounds 4m Kluivert set to join Arsenal's foreign legion

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The Independent Online
ARSENAL ARE making a bold pounds 4m attempt to sign the Netherlands and Milan striker Patrick Kluivert. The manager, Arsene Wenger, has been cleared to bring the forward to Highbury where he would join fellow Dutch internationals Dennis Bergkamp and Marc Overmars.

The Gunners have sent an agent to the Dutch camp at the weekend to secure Kluivert on a four-year contract. Kluivert, sent off in last week's group match against Belgium, should not need much persuading to come to London after an unhappy season in Italy. Milan have already Oliver Bierhoff moving to the San Siro next season, limiting further the Dutchman's chances of playing. A move to Arsenal has the added allure of a Champions' League campaign next season.

After being turned down by Brian Kidd and Kevin Keegan, Everton are now turning to Coventry City's Gordan Strachan in their hunt for a new manager.

The Goodison chairman, Peter Johnson, will approach Coventry this week for permission to speak to Strachan. Johnson is impressed by the way Strachan has transformed Coventry with shrewd signings and attractive football.

Strachan recently signed a long-term deal at Highfield Road, but Everton believe their potential will lure him to Merseyside. Johnson wants a replacement for Howard Kendall this week and has renewed his efforts after Kidd chose to stay at Manchester United and Keegan at Second Division Fulham.

Christophe Dugarry, the France striker, is the subject of a pounds 4m offer from Rangers. The Ibrox club's new head coach, Dick Advocaat, is attempting to sign the 26-year-old Marseilles forward, who scored France's first goal in the World Cup finals against South Africa before picking up a hamstring injury.

Rangers' Old Firm rivals received a blow to their search for a new coach yesterday when the departing Norway coach, Egil Olsen, told Celtic they will have to look elsewhere for a successor to Wim Jansen.

The 56-year-old admitted he had received several approaches from Parkhead about taking over after his involvement in the World Cup was over.

However, after Norway's 1-0 second-round defeat by Italy on Saturday, Olsen said he will be taking six months out of the game to have a hip replacement operation.

"I was flattered by Celtic's interest but I must go into hospital for the operation and that will keep me out of football for six months," Olsen said. "Celtic need a coach now and I decided my health has to come first."

The former Sweden coach, Tommy Svensson, was reported as saying he will make a decision about the Celtic job over the next few days.