Sam Allardyce has left Paul Ince as the bolt-on candidate to succeed Mark Hughes at Blackburn Rovers by removing himself from contention, and last night the the Premier League gave the green light by ratifying the appointment on the basis that Ince, 40, gains his Uefa Pro Licence within the next two years.
The decision removes the last remaining obstacle in the way of Blackburn offering the job to the current MK Dons manager, and an announcement over the weekend seems likely. The decision was made easier by the League Managers' Association saying that they had no objections were he to be offered the job.
Villa remains loyal to his club
Striker David Villa has repeated his desire to remain at Valencia despite being linked with several clubs. The 26-year-old's form at Euro 2008, where he has scored four goals for Spain in two games, has reportedly attracted the attention of Real Madrid, Barcelona, Liverpool and Chelsea among others. And it had been reported that cash-strapped Valencia may have to sell their best players. But he said yesterday, "I left the club to compete in Euro 2008 and, when it ends, I hope to be going back to Valencia. I never thought about leaving before [Euro 2008] and I'm not thinking about it now."
Fiorentina deny sale of Santana
Fiorentina have ruled out the sale of their Argentina midfielder Mario Santana to Tottenham. The Germany forward Lukas Podolski, however, has claimed that Spurs are among the clubs interested in signing him from Bayern Munich. Despite reports, Spurs are not thought to be interested in buying Ruud van Nistelrooy from Real Madrid.
Clichy rewarded with new deal
Arsenal full-back Gaël Clichy has signed a new long-term contract at the Emirates. The Frenchman, who joined from Cannes in 2003, has established himself in Arsène Wenger's side following Ashley Cole's departure to Chelsea. And Clichy – who made more first-team appearances than any other Arsenal player last season – has been rewarded with a new deal.
Cardiff continue to target Boyd
Rangers could find their resolve tested further if Cardiff table an increased bid for striker Kris Boyd. The Ibrox side confirmed yesterday that an offer, reported to be around £2.5m and thought to have come from Cardiff, had been rejected.
*YESTERDAY'S COMPLETED MOVES
Kyle Lafferty (Burnley) to Rangers £3.25m
Chris Zebroski (Millwall) to Wycombe ......... £20,000
Julius Aghahowa (Wigan) to Kayserispor ......... Undisclosed
Anthony Barry (Yeovil) to Chester......... ......... Undisclosed
Glen Little (Reading) to Portsmouth.............................. Free
Stefan Oakes (Wycome Wanderers) to Lincoln ......... Free Daniel Whitaker (Port Vale) to Oldham Athletic.....................Free