Chelsea last night completed the pounds 4.5m signing of Gianfranco Zola from the Serie A side Parma. The Italian international attacking midfielder will arrive in London next week, and the Stamford Bridge club have not denied reports that he has been offered wages of about pounds 25,000 per week as part his three-and-a-half-year deal.
It has transpired that Parma have been keen to unload Zola after he fell out with their coach, Carlo Ancelotti, and the Italian club will doubtless be very happy with such a fee for a 30-year-old. The transfer was completed in Italy by Colin Hutchinson, Chelsea's managing director, but the first moves were made by Riccardo Sogliano, Parma's sporting director, when he flew to London earlier this week. It is believed he also spoke to Manchester United, Tottenham and Newcastle.
Celtic have lost their quest to earn a fee for the Scotland midfielder, John Collins, who moved to Monaco in the summer on a free transfer, after the expiry of his contract, thanks to the "Bosman" legislation.
Celtic argued that they should receive a fee for Collins, as Monaco is not a European Union state, but yesterday Fifa, football's governing body, ruled Celtic's claim invalid because Monaco are members of the French Football Federation. A Celtic spokesman said: "This is the second bad result for Scotland from Fifa in two days."
However, Celtic have been allowed to appeal against fines imposed earlier this season for using unlicensed agents to secure the transfer of Alan Stubbs from Bolton. Celtic were fined pounds 42,000 and Stubbs pounds 28,000.
Stan Collymore will turn out for Liverpool's reserves today against Sheffield Wednesday at Anfield, and thus avoid another heavy fine. He was penalised two week's wages for not showing up for a second-team game against Tranmere last Wednesday, but after talks with his agent he has decided not to cause further conflict with his employers.
Rangers have decided not to appeal against a four-match European suspension given yesterday to Paul Gascoigne for his red card in the last month's Champions' League match at Ajax. The England midfielder has already served one match of the ban. Rangers were also fined pounds 2,500 for collecting three other yellow cards against Ajax.
The Professional Footballers' Association chief executive, Gordon Taylor, has denied reports that his union will be unable to help David Busst, the Coventry defender who has had to retire after suffering a broken leg at Manchester United last Easter.
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