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www.red11.org : TODAYS NEWS
Date: Sat July 11 to Mon 13th July GMT+05:00 1998
1. KLUIVERT HAS ESCAPE ROUTE TO HIGHBURY
2. ROBBO IN THE HUNT TO LAND SHERI
3. CANTONA RETURNS FOR £1M UNITED FAREWELL
4. FERGIE MUST KEEP THE HATE OFF BECKS
5. OWN GOAL IN THE NET
KLUIVERT HAS ESCAPE ROUTE TO HIGHBURY
Patrick Kluivert has a secret clause in his AC Milan contract that will
enable him to join Arsenal. His representatives plan to invoke the get-out
clause after his first year with the Italian club.
The only stipulation is that AC Milan have the right to seek a reasonable
fee. They are asking £7.5million, but Arsenal seem reluctant to go higher
A five-year contract at £1.3m a year would take the total package to £14m.
The Gunners have cash to spare, but plan to invest wisely, knowing that big
money does not guarantee success.
They have agreed a £5.5m fee for Argentina World Cup star Marcelo Gallardo
of River Plate. Gallardo has been available for a year and has been offered
to a number of Premiership clubs.
He came on as a substitute in the quarter-final win over England, scoring
one of the shoot-out penalties. Buying outside the EC produces its own
problems, with tight work permit regulations.
But Gallardo is a quality midfield player who would be assured of playing in
more than the requisite 75 per cent of games when fit. The Gunners' move for
Gallardo underlines their problems in trying to lure Ronald de Boer from
Ajax, which they have been doing for more than a year.
Mirror Sport revealed the Gunners initiated talks with de Boer more than 12
months ago. Arsenal tried again before the World Cup and discovered
complications. De Boer told the Gunners he wants to join them for next
season, but Ajax are refusing point blank even to talk to the new English
An initial offer of £5m more than a month ago was rejected out of hand by
Ajax, who refuse to quote any figure and insist de Boer is not for sale.
However, Ajax know that de Boer is so adamant about quitting the club,
despite signing a lucrative new long-term contract, that he is considering
taking them to a Dutch tribunal to force his release.
Privately, Ajax are insisting that if defender Jaap Stam is worth £10.75m,
then the attacking de Boer must be worth more. Ajax might want £12m but
Arsenal want to pay half that amount, knowing that the package cost would be
as high as Kluivert's.
De Boer wants a move to Highbury to link up with Dennis Bergkamp and Marc
Overmars, but the meticulous Arsene Wenger cannot wait for a complex legal
row to run its course with Ajax.
Instead, he has lined up a cheaper move for Gallardo. De Boer and Kluivert
were saying nothing about their futures yesterday.
Kluivert excelled against Brazil on Tuesday, scoring once - but might have
done even better in front of goal.
Arsenal have already said they are 80 per cent sure of signing Kluivert, but
he has one other option. He has been offered a fortune to sign for Parma and
Arsenal are struggling to match those terms.
Unless the Gunners pay the sort of salary that is now commonplace at London
rivals Chelsea, they are not going to be certain of capturing Kluivert.
Kluivert would prefer to move to London, where six months ago he had lunch
with his close friend Ruud Gullit. He believes he can make the same sort of
impact as Bergkamp and Overmars, but is reluctant to take less money than
Parma have offered.
The personal terms for de Boer are less of a problem than those for
21-year-old Kluivert, who is moving from Italian football rather than
Arsenal can now step up their negotiations with Holland out of the World
Cup, but there is a lot of talking still to do. Ajax and de Boer will want
to avoid a messy hearing where the player can lodge a complaint that he is
being prevented from increasing his earnings. Under Dutch regulations he
would stand a good chance of winning.
That leaves Ajax and Arsenal squabbling over the transfer valuation. Arsenal
would have to invest something like £35m to sign both Kluivert and de Boer,
and even though the club have the money the figures are prohibitive.
But the Gunners are determined to land one, if not both Dutch stars, whose
names have been constantly linked with the club for months.
ROBBO IN THE HUNT TO LAND SHERI
By Alan Nixon
BRYAN Robson wants to sign Teddy Sheringham in his second raid on his old
club Manchester United.
The Middlesbrough boss is in talks with United for England World Cup star
Sheringham, whose Old Trafford future is in doubt.
Robson hopes to be successful again after persuading Alex Ferguson to part
with centre half Gary Pallister - and the move for striker Sheringham is
down to financial matters.
United want their money back on Sheringham - the £3.5million they paid
Tottenham for him a year ago.
Robson is offering less at the moment but is trying to find a compromise
Sheringham may not be keen to move to the north-east, but the alternative
seems to be sitting on the fringes of the United first team.
Ferguson left him out of his side at the end of last season and is planning
to bring in a new face to his attack before the campaign kicks off.
The nightclub incident that put Sheringham on the front pages before the
World Cup with after-hours drinking has not helped his cause, but is not the
main reason for any sale.
United are interested in recouping cash on Sheri before they re-invest, with
Argentinian Ariel Ortega their main target.
Robson is an admirer of Sheringham, 32, and is not worried about his age. He
already has veterans Paul Gascoigne and Paul Merson.
Boro are still looking for a top-class forward and Robson has the financial
muscle to see off any rivals for his signature.
Former Republic of Ireland international Andy Townsend is Boro's new
Robson said: "Townsend has great experience. He was skipper with Norwich,
Southampton and Aston Villa, apart from the Republic.
"Townsend will be a worthy successor to Nigel Pearson, who was a great
leader before he retired last season.''
CANTONA RETURNS FOR £1M UNITED FAREWELL
ERIC Cantona will hand Manchester United a £1million farewell gift in an
emotional official send-off next month.
The Old Trafford legend sensationally quit in silence 14 months ago to begin
his new acting career. But now he's set to return and take a final bow in a
testimonial for the Munich air crash survivors and their dependents.
Most have fallen on hard times 40 years after the tragedy that destroyed the
great Busby Babes. But Cantona-crazy fans have ensured a 55,000 sell-out,
which means gate receipts will swell the Munich trust fund by £1m.
Organisers also hope that TV rights will add another £500,000. And that will
delight Cantona, who is anxious to support the legends who paved the way for
his glorious reign at the club.
He will bring his European eleven to his old theatre of dreams on August 18.
Cantona plans to play the first half against his old pals and then for
United in the second. And that's bound to lead to a tug-of-war between old
king and new over who wears the famous No 7 shirt.
David Beckham is the current owner of the prized shirt but no-one would be
surprised if Cantona bows out in it, his collar turned up for one final
PFA chief executive Gordon Taylor, who is helping to organise the event,
said: "I think it's an indication of the special place that United and their
fans have in his heart that he's coming back for this one.
"Perhaps it's significant that he has chosen the opportunity to help other
former great players and their families as his Old Trafford farewell."
FERGIE MUST KEEP THE HATE OFF BECKS
BY STEVE MILLAR
ROY Hodgson flies back to the World Cup today cursing the British disease
that threatens to consume one of our greatest stars.
The Blackburn boss is still appalled at the public hate campaign against
England's David Beckham following his sending off in the Argentina match.
But Hodgson, after an impressive career coaching his way through the soccer
capitals of the world, isn't surprised the Manchester United star was hung
out to dry as Public Enemy No 1.
Hodgson is just relieved that Beckham can be protected from the mob and
saved from total destruction by one man - his Old Trafford boss Alex
The former Swiss national coach and Inter Milan boss said: "I know Alex very
well. He will look after Beckham. I am not saying that he can silence the
crowd booing at away games. But he will help the lad mentally.
"He will say the right things to him. He will put his mind as right as it
can be after what he's been through. Now it's a question of Beckham being
"He will tell Alex that he made an error but that he could show him a video
of 650 top players making exactly the same mistakes or worse. It wouldn't
take too long to put that video together either."
United's long, sturdy arm of protection has worked before in the club's
Many in the soccer world wanted Eric Cantona booted out of the game
following his kung fu attack on a Crystal Palace fan.
But Ferguson stood by him and eventually the Frenchman emerged unscathed.
Hodgson hopes it's the same happy ending scenario in Beckham's case. But he
knows the venom directed his way next season could be lethal.
He added: "Beckham is one of the biggest talents we have and it's a shame
that people want to destroy him. Perhaps one day they will. That's why
there's no doubt that people have got to protect players like him. People
will suggest that it's the treatment we have to accept as public figures
because we are highly paid.
"I find the argument dubious personally. But it's still the commonly held
opinion that because David Beckham is a very rich man that he should be
"Personally, I am not surprised by what has happened. But if you ask me if I
am disappointed as an intelligent, subjective human being then the answer is
Many football followers in England hold Beckham personally accountable for
the country's early exit from the competition after his red-card shame.
And Hodgson reveals that the public flogging of Beckham was the talk of the
whole soccer world in France.
But foreign coaches agreed with him at a World Cup seminar that it could
only happen in England. He said: "You can ask Arsene Wenger and he'll tell
you the same. The difference about being a soccer star in England or Europe
is that here your whole life is open to vilification.''
OWN GOAL IN THE NET
FOOTBALL fans last night expressed their outrage at the "web of hate"
campaign against David Beckham.
And the Internet soccer newspaper, Football365, which launched the latest
"bash Beckham" attack, was also facing the wrath of some of its major
Football365 - the brainchild of telly pundit Danny Kelly - has urged fans to
"give him hell and make it clear that Beckham is a non-person" following his
red card against Argentina.
Two of their backers, Carlsberg and Zetters, yesterday voiced concerns over
the hate campaign, which could threaten their future advertising.
And one of the angry callers to The Mirror was Joe Fanning, of Wood Green,
north London, said: "It's outrageous. Urging people to abuse him takes it
one step too far."
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