x Abu Dhabi, UAEMonday 24 July 2017

Eriksson may return to England

Sven Goran Eriksson is being linked with a sensational return to the British game at Notts County.

Sven Goran Eriksson takes a Mexico training session in San Pedro Sula on March 31. He was sacked from the job days later.
Sven Goran Eriksson takes a Mexico training session in San Pedro Sula on March 31. He was sacked from the job days later.

Sven Goran Eriksson, the former England and Manchester City manager, is being linked with a sensational return to the British game at Notts County - the world's oldest professional football club. The Meadow Lane side, who compete in League Two - the fourth tier of English football - were formally taken-over last week by Munto Finance Limited, a Dubai-based consortium.

With Munto financing an ambitious five-year plan to establish County in the Championship - a division just beneath the lucrative Premier League - Eriksson heads the club's targets for a continental-style Director of Football position, according to reports. While County were unavailable for comment, pursuing Eriksson - sacked by Mexico in April - is believed to have no bearing on present manager Ian McParland's tenure.

In transfer news, Premier League Wigan have signed James McCarthy from Scottish side Hamilton Accademicals for £1.4million (Dh8.5m). The highly-rated Irish starlet, the subject of a failed January bid from Scottish giants Celtic, made his professional debut at 15 and played more than 100 games for the Lanarkshire club, scoring six goals in his debut season. Having scouted the 18-year old attacking midfielder during his time as Swansea manager, new Latics manager Roberto Martinez has signed him on a four-year deal at the JJB Stadium.

"I had an absolutely brilliant time at Accies. The club have been tremendous with me and I wish everyone all the very best," said McCarthy. Elsewhere, Florent Malouda's fine form during last season's run-in has seen him rewarded with a bumper three-year contract extension at Chelsea. The French international midfielder - who had just one year remaining on his previous contract - revealed developing his game under new manager Carlo Ancelotti was his motivation. "I have a lot of respect for him, I believe in him," he said.

One signing not happening is Portsmouth striker Peter Crouch's switch to Sunderland. Black Cats coach Steve Bruce has confirmed the Wearsiders have dropped their interest in the England international after the player insisted he wanted to remain at a club in the south. "Naturally this is hugely disappointing as Peter was one of our primary targets," said Bruce. "He was impressed with the set up here, but it's simply a matter of geographical location and that's not something we can affect," he added. Bruce - who has already recruited Manchester United's Frazier Campbell to his attacking ranks this transfer window - revealed Sunderland will continue to pursue other targets.

"We have a number of irons in the fire and we will be looking to make several additions to our squad in the coming weeks." Bordeaux's Moroccan international striker Marouane Chamakh and Tottenham's Darren Bent are thought to be on Bruce's list. Dr Sulaiman al Fahim has conducted his first piece of business as Portsmouth's new chairman, handing interim manager Paul Hart a permanent two-year deal.

Hart took over the Fratton Park job when the club sacked Tony Adams in February. The former youth team boss immediately tightened the Portsmouth ship and led them clear of the relegation places. Arsenal midfielder Samir Nasri faces more than three months on the sidelines after cracking his right fibula during pre-season training. Nasri's extended spell on the sidelines may yet convince manager Arsene Wenger to re-invest money from the Gunners' £25m sale of striker Emmanuel Adebayor to Manchester City.

emegson@thenational.ae